Conscious Holiday Deal Spending

This year’s online Black Friday spending broke records! (with $7.5 billion spent online according to Adobe Analytics) and Cyber Money spending is expected to increase by 14% over last year …yet we (Canadians) report that much of our spending is regretted after the purchase (according to Finder.com, Canadians wasted about $1.3 billion on regretful holiday shopping sales last year)!

Who doesn’t love a great deal, right?

As we are bombarded with Black Friday, Cyber Monday, pre-Boxing Day and other holiday sales and promotions, it can be very tempting to buy things just because they’re on sale.

This was me.  I would buy things that were on sale, even if I didn’t really need or want it, or thought it would be a great gift for someone, especially with those holiday deals!  The result – an accumulation of STUFF cluttering my closets, shelves and storage room, gifts that no one really wanted or would use, and a sinking feeling in my stomach that I spent too much.

A huge divorce payout followed by a job loss and business start-up with no savings (and living off debt in the process) led me on a journey with my money relationship, and of evaluating my spending habits and how I was making my purchasing decisions.

And while I became somewhat minimalist fairly quickly in my personal spending – enjoying the freedom of less clutter, a less crowded closet, and only buying gifts that people wanted, my business buying decisions took a lot longer to become more conscious.  I continued to invest in discounted programs and items without fully evaluating my buying decisions…without looking at the returns on investment and time to realize those returns, resulting in “wasted” money in my business too.  After years of working on my money stories and purchasing decisions, this has shifted too – which has certainly increased my profits and my money joy as a result!

Now, I’m not saying that you should completely ignore the holiday sales and promotions (hey, I run them too!)…in fact, I would suggest otherwise – DO look at them, but look at them with the mindset of “how can I get what I really need/want for less?”

To curb the temptation of unconscious or remorseful spending on these amazing holiday deals like I used and so many people do, here are some questions to ask yourself before making that purchase:

•                 Do I really need it, already have it, have something else that will work, will it light me up?

•                 Is this something I REALLY want and will use?

•                 (if it’s a gift) Is this something the person I’m buying for will really enjoy and use?

•                 What’s it’s longevity?  Will it last or will it end up in landfill in a relatively short period?

•                 What is the return on investment?  How long will it take to make my money back and more?

•                 Will buying this cause me to go into debt/carry a balance on my credit card?

•                 Is this really a good choice for me at this time?

You could add questions about carbon footprint impacts or other social, environmental, health or economic impacts that will help you make a more conscious choice with your buying decision.  It doesn’t have to be a lengthy process to evaluate your purchase decision…in fact, asking these questions just takes a minute or two before standing in the checkout line or hitting that BUY NOW button.  Another practice I find really helps is making shopping wish lists BEFORE your make your way to the stores or opening your online shopping browser.  I start making Christmas gift lists early in the fall, and keep an ongoing “wish” list of items for my house and business, so I’m ready when those deals do come up and I can get what I’m looking for at a lower price.

This new conscious spending mindset and behavior will result in less post-purchase remorse and stress and increased longer-term joy and satisfaction with your purchases…and hopefully, more money in your bank accounts to invest in your longer-term wealth goals 😊

 

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Linda Spencer is an independent CPA, CA, Business Profits Strategist and Money Mindfulness Coach, with no affiliation to any financial products. She has over 20 years experience of helping entrepreneurs with their cash flow and tax strategies.

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