Many people experience depression during the holidays for different reasons, but it seems the most significant reason is “money.” Those people who celebrate Christmas want to buy meaningful and personal gifts but don’t necessarily have the resources to purchase them. Now that we are into December the stress will start to pile on for many. While it is great to buy awesome gifts it is also important to try to do so “without going broke.” No one should want to start the new year with debt payments that he or she can’t afford. Since most people have limited resources, what can be done to avoid becoming destitute? The first thing that you should focus on is making sure that “your bills for this month get paid first.” The worst feeling comes from buying expensive gifts and then realizing that you still have huge car payments, mortgages and rent to address. Once you pay off your bills for this month then you can focus on purchasing gifts from “the money you have left.” This will give you a better idea of what you can afford to buy. The next step would be to plan your buying “strategically.” Itemize each person you want to buy for and even put together an amount that you are willing to spend for that person. This will hopefully help you to “work within your budget.” You might even be able to have some money left over. The third phase is to “do your homework and look for bargains.” There is no greater feeling then finding the gift you want “on sale.” The only way you are going to know about these deals is if you become a smart shopper and “look around.” You may also want to consider other sources such as Ebay, Craig’s list and even pawn shops. Don’t laugh, people have been known to “give away” gifts where they didn’t realize the true value. You may be surprised at what you might find if you do an extensive enough search. Finally, it could help you out tremendously if you “shop early.” After you pay off your bills for the month, go looking for what you want to get. Usually the biggest disappointment comes from shoppers who plan but then “wait until the last minute to go get what they want (and then find that the store has sold out). Once that happens, then you have to “alter your plans” and inevitably settle for buying a more expensive gift due to the time element. There are probably other small things you can discover for spending wisely this holiday. The key element here is to get through the holidays “happily.” If you spend wisely you might even be able to “buy yourself” something after all is said and done. The holidays should be a time for smiling and recognizing your blessings. As it is with anything, what you get out of it depends largely on what you invest into it. I hope this is helpful to anyone. Thank you for checking out my Daily Thought and as always I wish you the very best that life has to offer.
Ashford and Simpson with Brett Jolly in concert