It’s the most wonderful time of the year!
Riiggghhht? Let’s think about this for a second.
On the one hand, Christmas trees decorate every store window and crowded mall parking lots. Fake snow gently graces flashy displays drawing your eye to everything except the price tag. Cheerful patrons push through crowds of overzealous shoppers determined to get this over and done with.
Alright, I think I’ve covered both sides of the Christmas argument already. While we all love the time off and the opportunity to share some cheer with family and friends, the holidays are a stressful time both for you and your wallet.
Here’s a confession: I love shopping. I like spending money and I like having new stuff. Plus, I like buying new stuff for other people. Seeing their faces light up on Christmas morning or at a 20$ and under Secret Santa party is one of the highlights of the year for me.
But when I say I like spending money, I should clarify: I like spending small amounts of money. So how can we stretch our holiday bonus this year?
Count Your Chickens After They Hatch
First off, are you even getting a holiday bonus this year? A lot of our clients here at One Stop are self employed or work as general contractors, so every dime they earn is accounted for during the year. There’s no extra to spend during the holidays.
No matter what the status of your holiday budget, don’t spend what you don’t have.
Fun Is More Important
I used to attend the same Secret Santa party every year. While I don’t quite remember how each evening wound up (the emphasis on cheap spread to the type of alcohol being consumed in those days), I remember well the hilarious gag gifts and cheap presents that were passed around. I still have a pair of slippers I received at one of those parties.
You know it, I know it - the holidays are about fun and happiness. Spending a lot of money doesn't automatically guarantee happiness.
It’s The Thought That Counts
Another confession: while I like shopping for people, I’m bad at it and I usually leave it until the last minute. This means I rush into the mall filled with good intentions, but because of the time crunch I settle on whatever I find during that first outing.
And it’s usually expensive.
“They’ll love this, it cost a lot!” usually goes the line of thinking. And like I said above, it doesn’t work that way.
Borrow a tactic from everyone’s favourite jolly fat man and make a list. What would this person like? What do they need?
And how do I capitalize on that thought without breaking the budget? It might sound cheap, but your intended gift receiver doesn’t have to know how much you spent. And I’d suggest that if that’s something they do care about, then you shouldn’t be buying them gifts anyway.
It’s the thought that counts, right?
Yep. So let’s think inexpensive thoughts this Christmas.