Overspending is a holiday tradition and one that can lead to financial troubles long after the holidays are over. Following are some common rationalization that people use to convince themselves to spend more than they can afford.
“I don’t want to disappoint the children.”
Many people, including divorced parents, feel pressured to give amazing holiday gifts to kids. The momentary triumph over guilt can lead to a long-term struggle to pay the bills.
“It’s on sale.”
The idea of a sale, of course, is to save money. But the more sale items you buy, the more you spend. “Rarely is the money that is ‘saved’ actually saved,” says Shawn Young, creator of Bootstraps Asset Building Education.
“It only costs…”
It’s the clearance rack junkie’s favorite excuse. Too often they end up making lots of little purchases that collectively have a big price tag.
“I would feel guilty if I didn’t buy it.”
If happiness is what you’re after, consider spending time with loved ones instead of spending money on them.
“It’s only once a year.”
Yes, Christmas comes only once a year. But gift obligations come with every birthday, anniversary, graduation, wedding and assorted other events.
“I want to give them what I never had.”
Spending this way can hurt your kids more than help them by leaving you stressed out. “Believe me, the kids are watching,” Young says.
“I don’t want to look cheap.”
Nobody wants to be a Scrooge at Christmas. But don’t make the gift about you. Make it about what will bring the recipient joy, and in all likelihood you’ll both be happy.