‘Tis the Season..to be broke…(a guide on surviving the holidays!)
So, it’s that time people. 23 days left til that day when we exchange gifts, see happy smiles on our friends’ and families’ faces, travel from house to house, stuff our faces, and then crash. All in one day, but it takes us on average about 30 days to prepare for this madness. I don’t want to get into what Christmas is really about! Many people have different views, beliefs, and blah blah blah. Let’s just talk about what it has become, and that is mass consumerism of broke Americans. I often wonder, when I am out shopping, that if our economy is in the crapper then where are people getting their money from? I know you think the same. Especially in the state that I live in, Rhode Island, where unemployment is at 12%!
This is what’s happening, and also one of the causes of our crap economy. People are opening credit cards, extending their lines of credit, paying the minimums on their current credit bills,dipping into their kid’s college funds, skimping on utility payments thinking that they will just pay the extra to make up for it next month. Don’t lie people, you know you do it. How do I know? I am guilty of it too. Yes, there are some people who do save for the holidays, and there are people who don’t live paycheck to paycheck and have an excess in disposable income, but they are not the majority. Here are some helpful hints for you broke asses out there like myself to not get yourself into a big hole before the New Year!
Make a list of who you have to buy for, then make your budget for Dec. and whatever is leftover, split it up accordingly and STICK TO YOUR LIST AND YOUR BUDGET! (if you don’t have enough to buy your 8 yr old nephew Bobby the Ipod touch he wants, oh well, get him the nano)
Sign up for email alerts, text alerts, mailers etc. from your favorite department stores & restaurants. Check out places like Groupon, Living social, and restaurants.com. I am constantly bombarded with coupons and I feel so guilty if I go in a store and I don’t have one because I know I am not getting maximum savings! (but be careful, read the fine print!)
Women, DO NOT take your husband or children shopping with you. They are impatient and you will feel inclined to buy something you didn’t plan to just to get the hell out of there!
Keep all of your receipts. Things are constantly going on sale from now until Christmas. Go get your money back. You may think it would cost you more in gas to go back, but chances are, you will be back in that area again. SCORE!
Homemade gifts are nice. but not for bratty children or imposing family members. You may be able to get away with giving grandma, or your great aunt Margaret, a nice mason jar filled with ingredients to make their own cookies.
Start a Christmas club at your bank. This works well for some people, but you need to have the discipline not to take the money and run to the casino, and be prepared to shop early.
Don’t buy yourself gifts. This is the time of year not to be selfish. Do what I do, take pictures and text them to your spouse 🙂 it royally pisses him off, but it plants a seed! And if you absolutely must buy yourself something, get a pretzel from Auntie Anne’s (inside joke)
So there you have it. Some ways to avoid overspending, and breaking the bank. I wish all of you a healthy, happy, stress free holiday. Ultimately, if you don’t have it, you don’t have it. And don’t feel bad because many people are in the same boat. If little nephew Bobby doesn’t like his ipod nano, and great Aunt Margaret doesn’t like her jar of unbaked cookies, then I have two words, FUCK THEM!!