I am breaking down 12 ways to conscious Holiday spending because this season it’s easy to get swallowed up in all the “must have,” “major deal,” advertising.
In a season where nearly everything is telling you that you NEED to have x, y, and z in order to feel or look a certain way it’s hard to snap out of the conditioning to pressure purchase.
And I am not saying it’s bad on you to go shopping or get a great deal or participate or not on Black Friday shopping. I am here to help you focus on making conscious money choices out of self awareness which will in the end make you feel so much better about what money you spend if at all.
So let’s dig into making money choices from a place of self-care this season.
Get clear on how you want to feel
Looking at how you want to feel is so important in purchasing. Often we’re spending money out of a desire to feel a certain way, only to realize that product isn’t actually what’s going to get us that feeling.
By identifying how you want to feel, you can clearly see where you want to spend money to get that feeling or not. And how to spend in other ways that may support that than you had originally thought.
Give freely where you have the room
Is it time to look in your closet, through your belongings and purge? Or maybe your children are growing out of a lot of toys and going to get a bunch of new ones from the grandparents this year. Great!
Now would be the perfect time to get rid of some things that actually are no longer serving you, you no longer want or need.
Donating during this time to those who are in need is a huge way to give back this season. There are plenty of families who can’t afford new things or even basic necessities. Before you go shopping for new things, give away what you are no longer actively using. You’ll feel better not just when you spend, but also having given to others in need.
Get clarity on what you want or need
Now that you’ve looked at how you want to feel. I want you to look at what is it that you really want or need. Or what ways do you want to be a giver this season?
This type of reflection on questions is going to help you be able to choose wisely where you spend your money. And on the things you actually really value, instead of on quick deals that you’re afraid of missing out on. This puts the control back into your hands and the money in your wallet.
Here’s the deal on deals
I am going to dish up the dirt on deals and sales so you can actually understand what’s happening psychologically that makes sales so satisfying.
Deals are the exact same as free food. When someone brings in food to the office, it’s exciting, unexpected and you didn’t have to pay for it! Obviously, you need to eat that donut right? Free food is like finding a major sale or big deal.
You’ll be seeing lots of both around the Holidays. Deals and sales trap you because they are satisfying since you think you’re saving money in some way. But let me ask you this, would you make the same purchases if there wasn’t a major deal?
Free food is the same way. It’s only satisfying truly because it’s free, and available. If it wasn’t free, would you drive yourself to the donut shop and go and purchase a donut? If you would, great! That means that donut is really worth it to you. If not, that means it’s not what you actually want or value.
The same things apply to what you purchase. Would you purchase it at it’s full price? If yes, great absolutely go for it because now you’re getting a major deal. If you wouldn’t or you’re on the fence, step back, reflect on why you’re considering putting any money on this.
This is the place where deals actually are really big deals! These deals are big because they are significant cuts to the business owners themselves instead of big box companies. These are business owners small companies and so many genuine hearts offering beautiful products or services that are uniquely them. Your money really matters in more than one way when you shop small.
Focus on the outcome
What’s the purpose of your spending? What do you want to get out of it in the end, what is that feeling, or experience you’re trying to create with your gifts? Or is it in fact an experience you’re giving all together!
Focus on what the end result is, if you want your family to feel loved, that doesn’t have to mean spending a ton of money, especially if it’s not practicing great self-care for you.
Breathe and be present before you buy
Breathing before you buy is like breathing while you chew your food. Digest and go slowly. Take your time. Stress increasing purchasing outcomes. It’s really no different than video games in many ways. We want the satisfying end result of seeing how much we’ve saved and that email in our inbox saying it’s shipped.
So breathe. Make sure your purchases are really want you want. Take your time deciding. Feel at peace while your purchase.
Be deal resilient
I just bought underwear from Aerie the other day. I was super excited when I saw their sale 10 for $35. If you’re a female who likes nice underwear then you know how expensive it can get.
Let’s face it, underwear really isn’t a glamorous Holiday purchase, but here’s where my point comes in. I bought underwear because I needed underwear. I decided to wait to buy until now because I knew there would be deals and I am smart when it comes to managing my money. I want to save when I can. Like on underwear for example.
Here’s the thing, I would not have bought underwear if I didn’t need them just because there was a deal. This is the trap! The deal is in the steal. And that is what makes it hard to consciously purchase during this time of year because there’s deal FOMO.
Was it satisfying to see I was saving over $100 on my purchase? Yes! Do I also think that the price of underwear is ridiculous? Yes! So I shop smart and consciously choose when to buy things. I highly recommend doing this if you budget.
But spending money to save money, is not saving money. It does you or your pockets no favors and likely leaves you unsatisfied in the end. It’s said that 90% of the country buys things that they can’t afford.
So don’t focus on the deals so much when you’re spending. Focusing on figuring out what you want or need, then spending accordingly (which if there are deals, fantastic!)
Find joy in what you purchase
One of my rules for spending is if it doesn’t bring me joy it’s not coming in my house. This has been really great for keeping my spending impulse (we all have it) in check. Because as soon as I can ask myself “Does this bring me joy?” I am able to have a really clear and quick yes, or no. The same applies if I am buying something for someone else. “Will this bring X joy?”
It’s a great way to base your gift giving to help you feel more connected to what and whom you’re giving it to. If you know it’s going to bring someone else joy, that’s a pretty solid gift to be giving.
Do your presents have purpose?
Similar to finding joy in what you buy, focus on the purpose of your presents. Spending consciously is about really considering what you’re buying and why. In doing so your presents will have more purpose and you will actually feel more satisfied in giving them, not just in scoring a deal.
Get creative with your budget
If you have a tight budget, I encourage you to get creative. Go through the process I’ve outlined and then search for the deals to correspond rather than just going with deals on the whim.
Another way to get creative is to make some of your own gifts. This year I am giving some bought, and some homemade gifts because they are really meaningful to me. I had so much fun making candles for my family, that I know they will cherish thinking of me each time they light one, and they will feel my love that I poured into making them on my own. Plus, it was so much fun and brought me joy in making them.
Find freedom in managing spending so you can do more of what you love
Try not to stress over what you are going to buy or not. This is supposed to be fun! Being more conscious of holiday spending just helps you become stronger and more secure with your purchasing habits, which is a huge form of self-care.
This is going to help you have more freedom to do what you love, spend time with those you love and worry less about the gifts that accompany this season.
Spending is something that happens during this season, and gift giving can be a beautiful expression of love. I hope you find ways to feel more conscious with your holiday spending this season so you can feel you’ve purchased from a place of self-care.
In doing this you’re setting yourself up to be able to find more joy in the season, with not just the gifts and the deals, but in the experiences and love around you.
So how will you spend more consciously this season?