With Black Friday behind us and Cyber Monday in our face, it’s so tempting to just spend, spend, spend on our family and friends. Because it’s Christmas and stuff. But ringing in the New Year with a hefty credit card bill is not fun, nor credit score smart.
Steve Siebold is the author of the book “How Money Works”. He’s a self-made millionaire who has some advice on keeping your spending in check.
Leave your emotions on the shelf: It’s easy to get wrapped up in the spirit of the season, but when it comes to buying gifts this year, leave your emotions on the shelf and let reason be your guide. This is when you must start using logical thinking in the decision-making process. While your spouse might really like that $1,000 necklace, is that really the smartest move if you don’t have the money?
Crack Wise-dom: Buy your spouse Sweet Tarts necklace instead. Say you’re “reliving your youth”. Get ready to sleep in the garage.
Plan ahead: Make a list and check it twice. Before you head to the store, make a list of each person you need to buy for, and allocate a certain amount of money for each of them. Don’t overspend by even a dollar. This is important because if you start overspending by five dollars here and 10 dollars there, it adds up quickly and you can easily go into debt.
Crack Wise-dom: Make your own “Naughty or Nice” list. Determine that 99.9% of the people you know are assh&les. No gifts for them!
Be honest: The last thing your friends and family want is to see you go into debt, or further into debt. Remember, there’s no shame in telling people that this year will be a lean holiday season when it comes to exchanging gifts. People will appreciate your honesty and attention to your finances.
Crack Wise-dom: “Hey, Uncle Larry. You really are a giant douche. So, I don’t want to spend my hard-earned money on you.” #LeanChristmasForYou
Don’t get caught up in the moment: If your shopping cart is overflowing, step back, regroup and make sure you can really afford everything you plan to purchase. While there are some good deals to be had, don’t fall for marketing campaigns that make you feel as if you’re getting a great deal when you’re really not (i.e. buy it today – pay for it tomorrow). The key is to be mentally tough to know when enough is enough.
Crack Wise-dom: We don’t need an 85-inch 4k TV. Our home isn’t even 85-inches big.
Don’t pull out the plastic: Don’t even think of using a credit card unless you are 100% sure you can comfortably pay it off at the end of the month. The last thing anyone needs is to get hit with high interest rates and a blemish on their credit score. Ask yourself this critical thinking question: Would I rather have the short-term satisfaction of expensive material possessions, or the long-term results of financial freedom and abundance?
Crack Wise-dom: The only plastic we’re interested in is the containers with the leftovers. What are we talking about here?
Learn from the past: Did you overspend last holiday season or some other year in the past? Remember how it set you back financially? Remember how bad it felt when you opened up your credit card statement and realized you couldn’t pay it all? Revisit that pain and how miserable you felt before you start shopping this holiday season.
Crack Wise-dom: Remember how it hurt getting kicked in the nuts? Yeah. That.
Haus of V is a creative collective that shares a similar mindset -- with a twist.