Finance Friday: Reining in that holiday spending


Finance Friday: Reining in that holiday spending

‘Tis the season for clearing out your wallet. It’s reported that many people experience elevated stress during the holiday season due to increased financial strain, but it doesn’t have to be that way. We talk about budgeting all the time—now’s the time to put those skills to work and embrace your inner frugal shopper.

Stick to the list

Unplanned purchases are one of the biggest account-drainers this time of year. A super-easy way to avoid that pitfall is to make a list and stick to it. As you’re milling about the mall, you’ll inevitably get distracted by something that seems like an even better gift (or maybe even a little something for yourself). You can use that list as leverage against impulse shopping. You’re guaranteed to feel a whole lot better if you leave the store with only the things you went in to get.

31% of Americans end up in debt after the holidays, which kind of defeats the whole purpose of holiday cheer. Especially as a student, it’s important to be mindful of your budget and aim for gifts that are small but thoughtful. That’s what it’s all about anyway—sometimes the smallest gifts are the most meaningful.
Don’t overspend

The lame side of Black Friday

Sure, it sounds great on paper—everyone wants a TV for 50% off—but Black Friday ain’t really all it’s cracked up to be. The mega-shopping day is becoming less and less popular among American consumers, many of whom opt for couch-surfing Cyber Monday deals instead. Here’s the scoop on why Black Friday shopping might not be worth it.

Save your money

When Black Friday first started really becoming a thing, it was a really, really big thing. Remember all those years that people got trampled outside of Walmarts? People are always hungry for a deal, but retailers are starting to skimp on their deals anyway. Most stores sell the same things every year, so if you went out last year, chances are you won’t find any variety this year. They also advertise major doorbusters that actually have major loopholes: often, when you see a great price, they only have a handful of that item in stock.

Black Friday isn’t even a Friday-only event anymore, either. It’s extended into the weeks surrounding it, too, and you can usually find even better deals on days that aren’t actually Friday. Not to mention the fact that it’s crept into Thanksgiving day as well, keeping retail workers behind the cash register instead of at the dinner table with their families. IMO, you’ll have a way better experience shopping on other days, so this year, you might want to consider embracing that post-turkey sleepiness and just stay home.
More hot takes on holiday shopping

In the News This Week:

  • One big mess: The Keystone Pipeline is shutting down temporarily after a massive 210,000-gallon oil spill in South Dakota.
  • Off to the races: After raising $75,000 on GoFundMe, Nigeria’s bobsled team will be the nation’s first-ever Olympic representatives at the upcoming winter Olympics.
  • ZOOM: Tesla unveiled the “world’s fastest production car” and an electric big rig, giving diesel-powered semi trucks some new competition.

From the Blog

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