It’s a busy day in the mall, which makes sense considering it’s mid December. Although it’s always busy when you’re shopping in the lower mainland, that’s just kinda the way it goes around here.
Depending on how you feel about crowds, you might be feeling a little bit of anxiety as you navigate through the masses. Hopefully you’ve written out a list and you’re checking it twice so you can make it through the mall in one piece.
Except there’s always that one item that catches your eye. We’ve all been guilty from time to time of indulging and picking something up for ourselves while we’re supposed to be shopping for others. It’s just too easy to justify. It’s alright, you tell yourself - I’ve earned it.
Well, through the confusion of the busy shopping centre and the enticement of everything on display, it’s easy - too easy - to lose track of your purchases.
Are We Budgeting For the Holidays?
Look, we preach about budgets and careful spending and frugality all the time - we’re a mortgage company after all! But truth be told, not even we account for every single dollar we spend while we’re out and about searching for the perfect gift.
We all discuss limits when it comes to buying gifts. How much is too much? Does the thought really count if someone spends way more on you than you do on them? No one wants to look cheap, even though we all know money can’t buy happiness.
This spending can easily spin out of control. So the answer to the question are we budgeting for the holidays is probably… maybe?
Yes. No? That might be more likely.
So instead of lying to ourselves about budgets, how can we minimize the damage?
A lot of us have been in trouble over the years because we abuse our credit cards. I once knew a guy who’d recently graduated from college, got his first credit card, rang up a couple ridiculous bills and subsequently had to store his credit card in his freezer all winter.
That’s right, he literally froze himself out. He was so afraid he would buy things and forget to pay his credit card bill that he removed the card from his control. A bit extreme, but I’m guessing you can manage without taking up precious freezer space.
So here’s the top secret process to follow to make sure this season’s holiday spending habits don’t come back to bite your credit score.
Pay your credit card bill immediately.
I’m not talking about opening the mail and placing the bill on top of your to-do pile when you get it. No, pay it as soon as you get home. Open the bag with your gifts, pull out the receipts, add up the number, open up your banking app and transfer funds from your checking, savings, or business account to your credit card immediately.
It’s the only way to keep yourself in check. Another benefit of this process is that this probably won’t be your final shopping trip, so the next time you head out, you’ll be fully aware that you’ll need to pay off your bill as soon as you get home.
Shopping should be fun…ok maybe not, I can’t lie to you. It might not be fun. But it will be worth it when your family opens up their gifts on Christmas morning.
And it will be even more worth it come tax time when your credit score glows like a shining star.