It happens every year: Black Friday approaches with the promise of a shopping frenzy, holiday deals, and half-off sales, and before you know it, it’s January and you’re not just tight on cash—you’re flat out broke.
But how did that happen? Was it the flat screen television calling out to the living room wall? The lure of getting a Playstation you really didn’t need for half the price? Maybe the budget burst when you entered the store shopping for siblings and exited with gifts for brothers, sisters, and each of their two kids.
When it comes to shopping for the holiday season—and year-round financial health—the experts agree: seeing your financial goals on paper flicks on a light bulb in your brain, illuminating the many ways you can save and waste funds.
“People have a short-term mindset. We tend to enjoy things in the present, but we don’t think about the long-term consequences,” said James Brewer, president of Envision Wealth Architects. “I think it’s important to sit down and establish what the long-term goals are.”
According to Nicolas Abrams, a certified financial planner with AJW Financial Partners, LLC, making a list before shopping begins is a key way to save money.
“Make a list of who you are going to buy gifts for and stick to that list,” said Abrams. “Realize that you do not have to buy a gift for everyone. Pick the top people and establish a maximum amount of money that you are going to spend on each person.”
Coming in Part 2: Using the Internet and Cash Instead of Cards