Tips to Control Holiday Spending and Avoid Post-Holiday Financial Ruin
By Frederick W. James MD
Overspending. It can threaten the lives of many, result in financial hardship, disrupt personal relationships, and adversely affect physical and emotional health. Our buying drives 70% of the economy, and several times during the year there is tremendous pressure upon the consumer to spend without restraint. When there are presents to buy and parties to go to, it’s easy to tell yourself to worry about the money next month. So you use credit to make ends meet, and then find yourself taking several months or, in some cases, years to pay off the initial debt. From personal experience I know many who have come face to face with these undesirable consequences of overspending, and feel totally out of control with their spending.
Good news. There are ways to correct the situation starting now. Here are tips and advice to follow that will replace “bad” financial habits with “good” ones, set new direction, and assure a healthy and prosperous lifestyle for you.
• Set a cash goal to spend: During high pressure buying season e.g. Christmas, determine the amount of cash money that you have available to spend without shifting money from other essential areas. Avoid borrowing or using credit cards. Use cash money only to set your goal.
• Write a plan: List those persons who you must provide a gift and/or items that you must purchase. Estimate the amount of money you will have to spend on all of these items and add it all up. Don’t forget to include holiday decorations and entertainment costs; these items are easily overlooked. When you calculate the cost of everything on your list if you can’t afford to spend that much cash, trim the list. The plan is to bring spending in line with your available cash amount, your goal.
• Follow your list: Use the telephone, internet, other unique places to find the best price and quality. Use the power of cash to negotiate a good price. Retailers’ websites can help greatly with comparison of prices. Last minute shopping usually results in impulse buying and spending more money than you originally planned. The list is your power to direct where your money should go instead of wondering where it all went.
• Avoid gift cards and certificates: Are you absolutely sure that the gift will be used and not forgotten or lost? That’s the risk of giving gifts cards or certificates. If you do not know what to purchase, cash is always accepted, and will certainly be spent.
• Release your creative power: Use your talent in one or more areas to make, find, sell, clean, organize, or renew things as a gift. Such personal gifts are often more appreciated and admired than some of the store purchases or cash gifts.
• Establish your holiday/season fund: This fund is your long-term plan to begin using cash only and eliminate the overspending for gifts, seasonal items, post-season bills and creeping debt. Since 2012, the average Christmas spending is trending downward with American feeling more restrained about their holiday spending. Now is the time to start reserving at least $40 to 60/month to build your cash gift fund and remain in control of your spending.
• Start writing down everything that you spend: Keeping a spending journal for constant review is simple to do, and extremely helpful in curbing your spending. The shear awareness of how much you’re spending on certain things is self-motivating to start changing the way that you spend money.
A serious look at these tips will set new directions, develop good financial habits and purge the bad, reduce the risk to your physical and emotional health, and set the stage for a prosperous lifestyle. From the severe economic downturn, a modern-day, tactical, savvy shopper has emerged spending less per transaction, insisting on finding the best deals, using discounts, and shifting more to lower priced retailers, restaurants, and modes of transportation.
The opportunity is now for you to say enough, make a shift in your spending pattern, refuse to take on more debt, and insist on getting more bang for your buck.
Before you spend any more money, download this FREE personal finance report. Discover the simplest way to use the four “personal finance categories” to create financial independence.
Frederick W. James, M.D.
Dr. James is the founder of the PowerSpending Academy, originator of the term “PowerSpending”, and author of the book “Spend Don’t Save”. Forthcoming books this fall (2014) are “Financial Cancer-How to cure with PowerSpending”, and “MiddleFinance”, a financial curriculum for children in grades 4 to 6.
He is the developer of the personal finance software, “IONMYCASH”, and the “BucketBank” product, a wealth manager for living well with better health and more wealth.
He is dedicated to share experience, and expert information with multi-talented individuals who are striving for success. Through coaching, he helps individuals who want that proper balance of competing life forces which includes integrating and controlling personal desires, developing and maintaining a career, having a family, developing and exploring one’s dominant skills, and pursuing an entrepreneurial interest.
Dr. James was a co-developed a Primary Health Center that delivered affordable healthcare to patients, and developed retail business and residential housing in the community.
Currently, he is president of the Southwest Children’s Health Center Foundation, visiting pediatric cardiologists, Kijabe, Kenya, a sponsor of the Early Child Development Centre of Kijabe, and Past President of the American Heart Association Western States Affiliate.
He has established an outstanding international research, teaching, and clinical career in the prevention and control of cardiovascular diseases in children and young adults. He has devoted over 30 years to a career of academic pediatrics performing research, writing, teaching and training of students, residents and faculty, and providing clinical care to hundreds of children and their families. He has been a consultant to the government for the review of medical research funding and training of health personnel, and designed and developed medical software for increased access to health and medical information.
To learn more about Dr. James and claim your free download, please visit: PowerSpendingAcademy.com or https://www.facebook.com/betterhealthwithwealth You may contact Frederick at: email@example.com or call 1.877.244.4464 x 101