Spending in the silly season

Despite the fact that I try to avoid as much sale advertising as possible, I often still cannot avoid the advertisements for the holiday sales. All of the new products that are sold as must-have items can be tempting, even for me!

I wanted to take the time today to remind everyone, myself included, that it is 100% off if you don’t buy it – and we shouldn’t be tempted to spend up big just because products are cheap or because we are “getting into the spirit” of the holidays. If we weren’t planning to make any purchases today, I would encourage you to stick to your guns and not buy something you could live without when you are out and about.

And when you do want to participate in a little bit of holiday shopping (which there is nothing wrong with), make sure you set limits for yourself. The number one failure on any budget is the inability to set limitations before the temptation arises. I am not saying don’t buy for loved ones, but make sure you have a list before you go to the store – and then stick to it. And, before you head to the shops, try the following as alternatives to traditional gifts.

Regift, Regift, Regift.

Look, we need to get rid of the stigma when regifting. There is nothing wrong with passing along something that doesn’t provide value in your life, to someone else that you believe will get value out of it. The way we change the stigma is by working through it ourselves. Ask yourself, would you be willing to receive a gift that has been regifted? If not, how are you going to change your mindset?

Give the gift of time.

Do you have a family member who never has a night out because they have kids at home? Offer to babysit their kids while they spend some time on themselves. Have family members who are older and unable to do the things that need to be done around the house? Offer to clean their home or cook them meals. Have a skill that a friend or family member wants to learn? Give them the gift of your time this Christmas.

Give the gift of an experience.

If you know that one of your loved ones has always wanted to do a certain activity? Why not gift that to them this Christmas. This idea fits particularly nicely with family members or friends who might be a little skeptical about your low impact or minimalist lifestyle. I know I have a friend who always wanted to go to high tea, so for this Christmas, I gave her a high tea voucher.

Give something you know people need.

Sometimes it’s as simple as a pair of socks. When I was a kid, this gift wouldn’t have been that exciting, but as an adult, I am ecstatic – it means its one less item that I have to buy. Make sure you know that the item was something that the person actually needs though – I can tell you from my own decluttering that you CAN have too many pairs of socks.

Happy Shopping!

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