Christmas Shopping: Proceed with Caution (Part II)

On Friday, many people will be busy doing their Christmas shopping for their friends and family. When the prices are so good, they'll also inevitably buy some "Merry Christmas to Me" presents. It's fine and all if the prices are good and it's what you really need, but please don't buy things merely because they're good quality and on sale. Impulsive sales purchases will stimulate our GDP, but will hurt big in the long run (credit card debt, bankruptcies, etc).

Before you head to the malls and other major retailers, do an inventory of your closet. Take a look at what you have, what you need, and you have a "what I want" column on your checklist as well, really sit down and think whether it'll go with anything in your closet. If you don't do these things, you'll probably waste money by buying more of what you already have and stuff that you'll never wear. If you're travelling and can't physically do a count of what's in your closet, just take some time to think about it. It's better to do that than walking into the mall unprepared, falling prey to all those "sale" signs.

Also, set a limit to how much you're giving to yourself. We may get carried away by justifying our purchases with "it's great value," "I'll buy it down the road anyways," etc. While it's true that you may be getting significant savings now, cash is still being spent and the threat of debt is much more imminent than the joys of dressing up. If the item is significantly discounted but still expensive, don't buy it if you won't be using/wearing it in the foreseeable future. Save that money up for an even better dress when you actually need it. Also, even if something is of good quality, it'll do you no good if it's not something you'll use. Keep that in mind when you shop.

Have a Happy Turkey Day!

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