The views of this article are the perspective of the author and may not be reflective of Confessions of the Professions.
Money Saving During the Holiday Season
PROBLEM: Every year, towards the end of the year, Christmas comes around, and its a big problem for most of us: We have to spend money on our loved ones, because it is expected, and anything less must mean we don’t love them.
The idea of the holiday season is great because it gives us a chance to have a day or two off from work and spend time with our families. Unfortunately, the holiday has become so commercialized, that this special time off has become a miserable time off for most of us, because we have to come up with the money for not just one of our family members, but many of our family members. We must buy them gifts, usually several, and by the end of our shopping spree, our bank accounts are empty, and while it is great that most of the time, our gift giving is reciprocated with gift receiving.
The whole idea sounds great and it is a lovely time for us to receive the things we want and give others the gift they want, but again: The real meaning of the holiday seems to have lost its meaning and that is simply spending quality time together, enjoying each other’s company, and whether we give gifts or not, the price of gifts, or really, the price of our wants have gone up.
There is a great solution to the answer though, however, most of your family may not like it, and you may not agree with it, but it could save you a lot of money.
SOLUTION: Wait until after Christmas. The solution sounds simple, yet most of us would never do it. However, before Christmas, businesses are hoping you are desperate to buy what they have, and they may even jack up the price to get you to buy it because they know you have to buy it. Fortunately, waiting until the day after Christmas and even the entire week after Christmas will show you the change of heart by all companies: They have an abundance of inventory they are trying to get rid of and they will do anything to get rid of it.
Most companies often mark their prices at least half off of most of their items after Christmas. There are many “after Christmas” sales going on because these companies need to re-stock with regular items again. These Christmas items are completely worthless and the company takes a loss on these items if they go unsold. Therefore, the best time for any family to actually have Christmas is at least a day or two after Christmas.
It sounds like anyone who could even come up with this idea is stingy or greedy, but the holiday season basically robs us all blindly and we happily hand over our credit cards or our cash without a second thought. This idea will not work for everything, such as gift cards, or new technology items, such as gaming systems, and etc., but for most “filler” items, and other items that are at least a year old, the price will drop greatly. Take advantage of the entire week after Christmas to do your Christmas shopping for the next year.
When you buy any of the items, hold on to your receipts, make a list of all the items you bought and who they are going to, and find a place in your closet or storage area to hold these items for the year. You will be amazed at how much money you can actually save by convincing your family that Christmas is a holiday to celebrate together, eat together, and enjoy each other’s company, but then if you still must exchange gifts, to do it the week after Christmas.
If your family and friends agree to do this, there will be no hard feelings towards each other, and of you will save a ton of money. If you want to save even more money, skip the Christmas cards, or get some at the dollar store, because they get thrown out anyway. Try it out for the next Christmas year and see how it goes. Put the money saved towards something better, like a family vacation, or towards your family favorite restaurant.