Inspired Budget

#130: How to Avoid Impulse Spending During The Holidays

November 02, 2023 Allison Baggerly Episode 130
Inspired Budget
#130: How to Avoid Impulse Spending During The Holidays
Show Notes Transcript Chapter Markers

Are you already dreading how your bank account will look after the holiday season? Trust me, I feel you. That's why on today's episode of Inspire Budget Podcast, we are going head-on with the biggest challenge of the gift-giving season - impulse spending.

Together, we'll uncover strategies to set a clear budget, craft a thoughtful gift list, and assign practical spending limits. The holiday season doesn't need to be a financial burden, and I'm here to guide you through it!

Let's move a step further into our holiday spending playbook! This episode also brings forward effective strategies to avoid impulse spending, like setting a deadline for your shopping, limiting exposure to sales temptations, and shopping with a clear head.

It's time to enjoy the holiday season without the shadow of debt looming over. So, if you're determined to keep your budget intact while spreading joy this Christmas, this episode is your roadmap to success!

Check out my free Christmas Budget Printables

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Allison:

I walk in and I just feel like there is tension in the air. Everything is heightened. You don't know how much is going to be left in the stores and when you feel that stress, it's really easy to just start grabbing and putting things in your cart, both in the store and online as well. Hey, this is Allison, and welcome to the Inspire Budget Podcast, where we talk all things budgeting, debt and saving money. Now it is officially November, which means the holiday season is rolling in, and you know what that means Sales will be everywhere and that itched to buy just one more gift or one more thing. So today we're going to be talking about how to really enjoy the holidays without going overboard and impulse spending. Are you ready to dive in? Let's do it Now.

Allison:

I will say that the holidays are one of my favorite times of the year, and they are filled with joy and love and family time and memories. However, they can often be a financial stressor for many people, and if you're one of those people, that's OK. I'm happy you're here today to listen to this episode. Here's the deal we all want to shower our loved ones, our children, our nieces and nephews, our family members and friends with gifts. We all want to join in on the festive activities. That sometimes cost money, but it's easy to be lured into spending more than we intended or plan to spend. I know personally that's exactly what tends to happen to me every holiday season, so I try to be really aware and conscious of my spending so that way I don't go overboard. It's really easy to do this whenever every store is just filled with sales and every online platform is just flashing these limited time offers. So staying financially grounded during this season is crucial, not just to avoid regrets come January, but to ensure that the spirit of giving doesn't unintentionally burden our finances.

Allison:

Let's talk about six things that you can do to help avoid impulse spending during the holidays. Now I'm sharing these knowing full well that I also struggle with impulse spending in the holidays. So before we dive into these six things, I want you to just give yourself grace and realize that, yes, it is easy to succumb to that spending whenever it is all around us, and we are more just heightened and aware of our options and opportunities to spend during November and December of every single year. So give yourself grace, but I'd love for you to try these six things, because I can guarantee you that they can help you pull back and be more aware of your spending during this time.

Allison:

Step number one is to set a clear budget before the shopping spree starts. Before you buy anything for anyone, I want you to sit down and do the math to determine how much you can actually afford to spend without going into debt this Christmas season. Now, if you have been saving money all year long, that's going to be really easy for you to figure out. It only took one year of Christmas where I did not plan in advance or set a clear budget, to realize how stressful it is to go into the holiday season without having any extra money set aside for holiday gifts. It just makes the entire experience a little more stressful and just like I had this weight on my shoulders. So since then, I have set up a sinking fund for our family where, every single month, we set aside $175 for holiday spending. When we first set up that sinking fund, we were sending $50 to it a month, which meant that by the time Christmas rolled around, we would have about $600 to spend. So I want you to have a clear budget in mind. If you've been saving money for Christmas, that should be an easy number to determine. If you haven't been setting aside money for holiday spending. Now's the time to look in your finances, look in your savings, ask yourself can I pull out $200 from my savings account and then set aside another $200 in November and another $200 in December, so that way I have $600 total. You have to get clear about how much money you're going to be setting aside for spending during the holiday season. So step one, tip one, I guess, is set a clear budget.

Allison:

Tip number two is to make a list and check it twice. Once you know exactly how much money you can spend this holiday season without going into debt, without missing your mortgage payment or your electric payment, it's time to make a list of everyone you are buying for and set a spending limit for each person. So I actually have a printable that I can link down here. I'll link to an article that has that in it, but this is exactly what I do I know how much money I have and then I make a list starting from our immediate family me, my husband, my two children and moving outwards, I think, through every single person I'm going to give a gift to, including my kids' teachers, including our housekeepers. I give our housekeepers a gift. I include anyone that's going to receive a gift on my list and then I check it twice by opening up my phone contacts and just looking through my contacts on my phone, making sure I didn't miss anyone on accident. So write it down and then assign a spending limit for each person. So if you know exactly how much money you can spend because you set a clear budget like we just talked about, then you can divvy up that money between all of the people, and it might take time. I recommend using a pencil when you're doing this, because you might have to erase and really think about how much money you're willing to spend on each person that you're giving to.

Allison:

My third tip for avoiding impulse spending during the holidays is to actually embrace the gift of time. I don't know about you, but it's really easy for me to be walking through the store shopping and sometimes I feel like what I'm giving isn't enough. Does anyone else, do you, ever feel like that? I'll have this mental list or I'll have this physical list and I'll be looking at it and I'll be like, oh, is this enough? Am I giving enough to my mom or my dad or my kids. Is this enough? And I find myself putting random things in my cart. When I'm feeling like that, I'll add random things to my cart for that person. So I feel like I'm giving quote unquote enough right? And by doing that it can very easily lead to overspending and impulse spending. That is totally impulse, what I just explained to you there. So, instead of doing that, when you have that feeling of am I giving enough and you feel that urge to impulse spend, I want you to rethink it and I want you to embrace the gift of time and consider giving experiences or handmade gifts to your loved ones. When you feel that way, they can often mean a lot more and they cost a lot less. An example would be being able to babysit. If you have a niece or nephew and you would like your brother or sister-in-law or whoever, to go out on a date, offer to babysit, offer to do things that give your time to them, because that can mean so much more and it stops that impulse spending in its tracks.

Allison:

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Allison:

In this training, I'm going to be sharing three massive mistakes that people make with their budget and their financial plan, so that way you can avoid them. I'm going to be sharing with you the secret to freeing up more money in your budget each month so that way you can send extra money to your goals, and I'm going to be sharing with you my tried and true four step framework to budgeting your way to wealth without giving up what you love. Plus, there is a very special free gift for anyone who stays until the end. You can sign up by going to inspiredbudgetcom slash class or just click the link in my show notes. You'll be able to choose a time that works for your schedule and I'll see you there. Just to recap so far, step one we have set a clear budget. Step two make a list and check it twice, of everyone you're going to be gifting to. Step three is to embrace the gift of time, especially when you start feeling that urge to impulse spend and you're asking yourself did I give enough to this person?

Allison:

My fourth step is to avoid last minute shopping. Oh my goodness, I don't know if you have been in the stores on December 24th, but last minute shopping. When I go in the stores, I feel so much pressure. When I know we're getting close to Christmas day, I walk in and I just feel like there is tension in the air. Everything is heightened. You don't know how much is going to be left in the stores and when you feel that stress, it's really easy to just start grabbing and putting things in your cart, both in the store and online as well.

Allison:

So my goal for you would be to set a date of when you want to be done with your holiday shopping. I do this every year. I will say I want to be completely done with my holiday shopping by December 10th or December 5th. I set that date. That way I don't have to think about shopping. I don't have to think about spending money on gifts and everything like that between December 5th let's say that's my date until the 25th. I don't have to think about that. I'm not going to find myself in the stores buying last minute things to throw in stockings or presents. So avoid it by setting a almost like a due date for when you want to be done buying gifts. It has changed the game for me.

Allison:

My fifth step, for you, my fifth tip, if you will, is to limit exposure to All of these sales and marketing tactics. Here's the deal. I want you to unsubscribe from promotional emails. Reduce your target runs. Delete any shopping apps you have. Make sure they're not sending you any notifications. Really, out of sight means out of mind. If you want to control that impulse spending, don't put it right in front of you. It's like me giving my dog a treat and putting it right in front of him and saying no and making him wait. He's going to eventually just grab the treat and eat it because it's right there in his line of vision. So what do we need to do? Remove the shopping, remove the marketing from our line of vision by limiting our exposure. The good news is, you have control over what you let into your email inbox. You have control over what you let into your Instagram feed. We have no control over the emails that these marketing companies want to send. We have no control over what people want to promote on social media, but we do have control over what we see, and you can do that by limiting it and be very mindful of what you're allowing yourself to take in during this holiday season.

Allison:

My last tip for you when it comes to avoiding impulse spending during the holidays is to always shop with a clear head. Whether you are going shopping in person to a mall I mean, what's that anymore, right? Target or you're shopping online, make sure that you have a really clear head. Make sure you have that list that we talked about sitting right next to you. That way, you don't find yourself impulse spending or buying other things that you didn't intend to ever buy. So I want you to avoid shopping when you are overly emotional, like I tend to sometimes shop when I'm stressed or I'm mad and I want that dopamine hit. I get that dopamine hit from buying things on Amazon or going to Target, so I need to just avoid stores and shopping when I am emotional. Avoid it when you're tired or you're hungry. All of those things can lead to impulsive decisions.

Allison:

Just to recap when it comes to avoiding impulse spending during the holidays, you can set a clear budget. Get your math straight right. Figure out exactly how much you can spend. Make a list and check it twice. Figure out exactly who you're going to be buying Christmas gifts for and write out how much you wanna spend for each person. Make sure it matches up with how much money you've set aside for Christmas. Embrace the gift of time. So anytime that you feel like you haven't purchased enough for someone, consider giving experiences, handmade gifts for the gift of your time.

Allison:

The fourth is to avoid last minute shopping. I highly recommend you go into your calendar right now and you set a date for when you want to be completely finished with Christmas shopping or holiday shopping. For me, it has helped immensely with my stress level and just being able to enjoy the holidays and not finding myself continuously shopping and getting in that impulse spending cycle. The fifth is to actually limit exposure to marketing emails, social media, anything that's pulling at your attention to spend Typically. We have that ability to limit that exposure. And the sixth is to always shop with a clear head. Make sure you go into your shopping experience not as a way to make yourself happy after a rough day at work or when you're really tired and you just want to get it over with, so you just throw anything you can in your cart, or when you're really hungry. Always shop with a clear head. I hope that these tips help you avoid impulse spending during this holiday season and actually enjoy spending money, setting a budget and actually enjoy setting your holiday budget and sticking to it. Thank you so much for joining me for today's podcast episode and remember the holiday season is about love, joy and connections, and gifts they are just one way to express that love and connection. Being mindful of your spending ensures that you are starting the new year on the right foot financially.

Allison:

If you enjoyed today's episode, then I want you to leave a rating or review. In fact, I want to highlight a review that I got from Marsal817. And this person wrote I'm newly married and my husband and I are saving for a house in this crazy economy, so this podcast has been super helpful with the tips and is very encouraging that we can budget and save now to one day have our dream home and start a family. So thank you to that person who wrote that review for the Inspire Budget podcast. I read every single review and every single just rating and review helps my podcast reach new listeners. So thank you in advance for doing that. I will be back next week with another brand new episode. Talk to you then.

Avoiding Impulse Spending During the Holidays
Avoid Holiday Impulse Spending Tips