The year is winding down fast, and for a lot of us that means last minute shopping! It’s incredibly stressful wandering around the store thinking about which item to get a friend or loved one – or all the wonderful people in your life that are doing all the behind the scenes work. I’m talking about those special people involved with your child(or children’s life) or if you don’t have kids, all those special extra people in your life. Favorite bus driver? Instructor? Neighbor? Church member? The gift you choose doesn’t have to be expensive either. Let’s face it, most budgets are barely covering Christmas presents this year. What are some great alternatives to charging up yet another credit card so we won’t offend someone?
I was at the dentist not too long ago chatting with the hygienist like I normally do. [It’s always good to be friendly with everyone you meet, plus your interaction with them will show you what kind of business they are as a whole. If a receptionist / front desk person is rude it is very unlikely that I will patron that business again. That always tells me that the owner either doesn’t really care about their customers because they hired someone so rude on their front lines, or the owner doesn’t make sound business decisions and you can expect poor work when you interact with him or her when the time comes.] The topic of the upcoming holidays came up, which is expected since we are weeks away from Halloween, and then the anticipation of Thanksgiving and Christmas follows shortly after. She made a comment about how expensive it gets this time of year. I mentioned about how I put money aside to I won’t go further into debt starting in August and September. She was amazed that I was so diligent about not over spending or relying on credit cards, how it is something she could never do. I told her that it was a lot easier than she realized and even putting away a little each week adds up a lot faster than she realized.
I know for a lot of families, they plan ahead of shopping routes, stores sales, whose car can hold the most stuff, and which big ticket item they are buying this year months before Black Friday is even a thought in most of our minds. I’m not even kidding when I say they map routes. I have known people throughout the years that would literally map out their routes and hand out copies to family members to score the best deal on that majestic Friday. I think military strategists could take a lesson or five from them. I know for some families, they have the tradition of getting up early and going shopping on Friday, or just enjoy the thrill of the hunt; not so much the long lines, possible fighting, and waking up hungover from booze and turkey filled stomachs. Is there really any advantage of all the effort shopping and planning? I think years ago it was beneficial to shop that day to save money, but with the way things are now, most companies offer better sales all through the year, especially after big marker holidays.