December 11, 2020 - Jacob Silva
Okay, so it’s Black Friday and the Holiday Season –two reasons for you to be spending money. That’s not even mentioning the holiday outfits you want to buy yourself for the countless (Zoom) parties and for New Years events you might be attending. There’s so much to spend money on but unfortunately not enough money to spend. So, how can we do this?
- The Holiday Season seems to get more materialistic every year. Brands use it to promote, promote and promote, so you’re getting endless lists for friends and family and you feel the pressure to buy them gifts. That’s alright, but first you need to make a list of the people you’re giving gifts to.
- Once you have that list, you need to make a list of gifts that you can give them. Think meaningful gifts. Quality is better than quantity!
- Found the perfect gift idea but can’t afford it on your own? It doesn’t mean you have to scrap that gift, ask another family member or friend to go halfsies with you on it. This is a great idea for electronic purchases or brand name purchases. My sister and I usually go halfers on a gift for my mom!
- Make sure that each gift you give is from your heart. If you can make something for them, why not do it?
- Think about a person’s needs. Much of the time, we truly appreciate gifts that tackle something we need to use in our lives, rather than something we want.
- Older people usually appreciate more personal things; handmade items etc. Whilst younger kids and teens generally love items that are all the rage at the moment. You need to gauge what gift you’ll give according to their age and personality.
- When you’ve got your gifts, try to get them wrapped in-store or use a cost-friendly way of wrapping them. You can do them yourself and have them look amazing, without spending that much money on bags and tissue paper! My favorite wrapping paper is newspaper! There are many places that wrap for free, so don’t be afraid to ask.
- Many people are using Black Friday deals to buy their holiday items. Instead of letting yourself get distracted by all the “deals”, use that list that you made. Before Black Friday, look online and see what sites or stores are best to purchase those gifts from and then try not to get sidetracked on the day.
- Remember, Black Friday can either be a good tool or a great trap. Companies don’t want you to spend your money minimally because that means that they lose money. They want you to leave with a shopping cart full of stuff you don’t need or actually want (once you’re not blinded by the huge sign telling you what a great deal you’re getting).
- Try not to get tricked into buying too much on Black Friday by sticking to the gift lists and by asking yourself if you actually need the items you want to buy for yourself.
- Yes, buying electronics on Black Friday is usually a great idea, especially if you’re a student in need of a new laptop.
- That being said, if you want to just support local businesses by buying their Holiday stuff, that’s sweet and can be done by you buying one item. Every purchase helps them, no purchase is too small.
- Thrift stores are still around this winter. Most Christmas parties have ugly sweater competitions that you can definitely shop around for in your local thrifts. You can also browse around for great items that are practically dirt cheap.
- Try to stick to using debit rather than credit cards.
- T’is not the season to be eating out. We don’t realize how expensive it is to eat out until the $20 we spend each day turns into $100. If you feel you need to eat out, try to go to the cheaper places. Yes, Starbucks is yummy but $6 for a drink is expensive. Shop smart.
- Rather than panicking and getting a second credit card to buy gifts with, try to think smart. Talk to family and do a secret santa, where each member buys one other member a gift rather than buying the whole family a gift. Make gifts. Shop around.
- Work more hours. This season is the best season for working many hours. Sacrifice some leisure time and take a few more closing shifts. Another great thing about working more is that it gives you less time to shop online or in person.
- If you have some personal needs that you planned on shopping for on Black Friday, think about asking someone who’s buying you a gift for those items. It makes more sense to get a person to buy the things you need for you, than for you to have to return their gift so you can buy them yourself. (Am I the only one who doesn’t like the thought of returning a gift?)
- Remember: There’s a difference between being cheap and being smart. There’s no shame in trying to save money around this time of year, because you still have rent to pay and food you need to eat after the holidays blow over. You still love your friends and family, so really work hard on balancing that love for them and the funds in your bank account.