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  • Writer's pictureVictoria Wallis-Smith

Christmas is coming…. Are you ready?

It’s that time of year… the Christmas pageant has happened and the countdown to Christmas is on, with 48days to go. Sale season is upon is!

We’ll have Black Friday sales later this month, more sales in the run up to Christmas and then of course, there’ll be the New Year sales. (Is it just me, or are there sales pretty much all the time these days?)

It’s a perfect storm for buyer’s remorse – the deadline for gift buying, getting caught up in all the “great deals” … and let’s not forget the ongoing pressure on the household budget.

Buyers Remorse. Sensible Spending. Christmas Sales. Money Coach. Nutshell Money.

Most of us have felt buyer’s remorse at some point – and it’s not the best feeling. So, here’s my tips and tricks to help you prevent buyer’s remorse as we head into the spending season.

Sensible spending

Good money management is about having a plan – whether it’s a cash flow plan, your money projects, or a shopping list at the supermarket. And your best friend for nailing sensible spending is …. a Christmas List.

When you create your list it’s important to think about all your Christmas spending:

  • Gifts – family, friends, teachers.

  • Decorations – for the house, the table.

  • Food – think about ‘special’ meals that you’re having and plan as much as you can.

  • Extras – freshening up the garden or outdoor area, a ‘party’ outfit for you or the family.

All these things might be individually small, but we all know they mount up. So, this is the time to set some limits, and maybe discuss a different approach with family/friends:

  • Be upfront about a spending limit for gifts, or suggest doing a Secret Santa approach.

  • Reuse decorations, or look to the garden for an environmentally friendly approach that your wallet will love.

  • Share the workload (and cost) by asking guests to contribute – whether it’s a plate or dollars, whatever helps to ease the stress of the event.

Having put your list together with a calm and collected mindset, you now have a set of rules for sensible spending.

Sales strategy

When it comes to the sales, the strategy is the same… a Shopping list.

Again, you’re going to create your list ahead of time – look around the house and in your wardrobe and think about what your REALLY need. (Top Tip: Use your Notes app to keep a running list of things you need, or want, and make sure you have a saving bucket setup for that spending.)

The great thing with a Shopping list is that it’s all about spending – yay! – but with some “rules” that you decide on. Here’s a few ideas:

  • Yes, you can… spend more than $X on an item, but you must wait a certain number of days before buying it.

The idea here is that more expensive purchases should involve more consideration, or research before leaping in.

  • Yes, you can… buy that item if it’s already planned or budgeted for.

Sensible spending needs to be linked to your cashflow plan and spending buckets. If it's a planned expense, great – go ahead. But if it’s unplanned – time to check your savings bucket – because spending on unplanned items means having less money to spend on the things your really want.

  • Yes, you can… buy X after you have saved Y.

Align your spending with your savings buckets and your goals. For example, “I can build up my savings bucket for new clothes AFTER I have saved $5,000 in my rainy-day reserve.”

The mindset shift is that these rules are putting you in control and an approach that is all about “yes, you can” … even if there’s a linked “after/if/when…”.

But buyer’s remorse?

If buyer’s remorse is something you experience regularly – or more often that you’d like – think about your buying trends… and I don’t mean fashion trends:

  • What did you buy?

  • How much did you spend?

  • Was the item on sale?

  • Was it a planned purchase or an impulse buy?

  • Were you alone or with someone else?

  • How were you feeling that day – was it an emotional purchase?

If you can see a pattern, you can start by working with that.

For example, if shopping with a friend means you tend buy more than you’d planned, try shopping on your own. Or, if buying shoes is when you get carried away, set some rules for yourself – “I will only buy one pair” or, “I will only spend $X.”

If you get home and are hit with buyer’s remorse, return it straight away – don’t put it off!

Most stores have a flexible returns policy – assuming the item is unworn/unused, and the labels/packaging is intact of course.

For online shopping, be sure to check the store’s returns policy (and shipping costs) and for more tips, check out the Moneysmart website.

Need help with money management?

If you’d like a fresh set of eyes on your money management approach – whether it’s getting started with your cashflow plan or sensible spending – working with a money coach helps you get the results you want.

Schedule a complimentary call using the link below, and we can discuss if Nutshell Money is the right fit for you.


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