Christmas spending – does your attitude affect it?
Through having different personalities, we all have different attitudes towards money. Some people love money, others hate it, some find it easy to make money, while others struggle to make ends meet. Christmas spending can really brings finances to the forefront of many people’s minds, and can cause heartache for many.
Every time you look at the TV there are ads showing the “perfect” Christmas, then there is Black Friday madness and also kids pestering parents to buy them the latest gadgets, so that they can be the same as their friends. Is it any wonder that National Debtline research shows that 23% of Britons report that they feel under pressure to spend more than they might really like?
I remember my kids always being really happy with the gifts that they got at Christmas, until they went back to school and saw what their peer group had got. They then felt a bit hard done to! I always felt sorry for them, but not so sorry that I would compromise my principles. I feel that giving kids everything that they want is not the answer, because at some point they will come to expect that lifestyle and may not be able to fund it themselves, but that is another post!
You might think now, with the abundance of social media, my kids’ pleasure would be spoiled immediately when they see the piles of presents received by their peer group when they check in on Christmas morning. Not so! Now that they are teenagers they are perfectly happy with their lot and are not impressed with the photos of piles and piles of presents. That might sound a bit clichéd, but I genuinely believe that they mean it.
So I bet most of us know what the pressure to spend feels like. It’s our attitude and how we react to this pressure that makes the difference. Here are some ideas to help you to avoid giving in to the pressure to overspend.
Think about your attitude
Do you think you are good with money? Or bad? Or awful? How you feel about your ability to handle money actually affects your ability to handle it. If you think that you are rubbish with money, then you will often make bad decisions. These bad decisions can then cost you more than you wanted to spend and even lead you into debt, which leads you to say “see, I told you I was useless with money!” This then becomes a vicious circle of bad decisions, which you think gives you proof that you are bad with money.
To help you to change this cycle, think of someone you know who is good with money and think “what would ……………do?” when you are making a decision. Simple, but it works.
Should I buy my kids everything they have asked for? Is this the answer? What does this teach them? Should I give in to the pressure and spend more than I really want to? What impact will this have on my finances?
How much can I afford?
It is useful to think about how much you would actually WANT to put towards your Christmas spending. How much can I afford? How much feels right for our family? If you can find an answer to these questions, then drawing up a spending plan that is affordable to you and your family, will help you to have a more enjoyable and less stressful Christmas.
Making a list
Get into the habit of taking a list when you go shopping. It is so easy to get tempted by the bright lights and offers, especially at Christmas. If you change your attitude and make it habit to only buy things from your list, then it can help you to spend less. There are some fantastic apps which can help you to keep your list in an easy to access place.
I hope that these tips have helped you to think about how your attitude can impact on your Christmas spending, and throughout the year.
I wish you all a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.
I am Eileen Adamson, a Your Money, Sorted coach, working online with UK based women, helping them to develop a better relationship with money. By gaining an understanding of how their personality affects the decisions they make, I can help them to implement changes which will allow them to feel calm, positive and confident that they are in control and making good financial decisions. I can then support them to put into place simple strategies that will allow them to manage their finances effectively on a daily basis and create a stable, secure and exciting future for themselves.