Shopping for the Holidays

Did you happen to see the Conlon Dart tweet a couple of days ago about Cyber Monday?  As we pointed out, it turned out to be the biggest online shopping day in history.

The season of spend, spend, spend has arrived with a bang.

This time of year can be financially stressful because of the pressure to buy and the need to deal with the aftermath of all that spending.

My own family created a unique way of dealing with Christmas  gifts one time many years ago, when all of us flew in from around the country to spend the holidays together in Bend, Oregon.  Not wanting to pack a bunch of big boxes, we established a rule that everyone had to be able to hold all the presents they were giving in a single hand. It was a fun challenge to find presents that would be appreciated, but still meet our size criteria. After we arrived, it was pretty comical to watch each of us struggle to balance our gifts in one hand to prove we had complied with the rule.

You can create a similar challenge for yourself based on your holiday spending.  How much can you really afford to spend on all the family members and friends you plan to give gifts to?  Set a financial goal and stick to it.  Don’t succumb to social or internal pressure to spend more than is healthy for you.

One difficult aspect of this plan is figuring out how much to spend on each person. You can get help from a Huffington Post article that shows a methodology for allocating your gift spending. It will help you experience all the joys of giving without the stress of overspending.