Avoid the Self-Indulgence and Only Buy Holiday Gifts For Others

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Black Friday, often a free-for-all shopping day of madness, doesn’t have to be. Aside from the crowds and the money being spent, we’re also just not fans of the stress that goes with the whole to-do. We’re not saying you should necessarily participate in Buy Nothing Day, an anti-consumerism countermovement, but we do have a special challenge for you: This year, buy only for others rather than for yourself. As much as we’d like people to think that we’re taking this challenge because we’re selfless, the truth is that we plan to reap some real gains from it, too.

Here’s how we’ll benefit from skipping that shimmery lip gloss for ourselves while waiting in line to buy that cute turtleneck sweater for our significant other:

We’ll Avoid The Hidden Costs Lurking In Every Item.

Every item we could possibly own has a carrying cost—the expense of time, money, and anxiety when the lip gloss needs to be replaced or bursts and makes our purse all sticky—and we never want to be a slave to our stuff. Every pair of shoes has the secret cost of repairs down the line, in time or money (or both).

Keep reading for more helpful tips.

We’ll Start To Break Free Of The Waterfall Effect.

Think about it: You decide to bite the bullet and buy your first “real” rug, something that you hope will finally make your living room look more Homes and Gardens than Dorms and Dining Halls. But, now you see that your old futon looks silly next to it, so you get a new couch. Your cute-but-less-sophisticated pillows look ridiculous on the nice couch, so you buy new throw pillows. Those don’t match your old blinds, so you go out and get new window treatments. Now you have to spend a few hours installing and repairing those window treatments, and you’re back to dealing with those items’ hidden carrying costs.

We’re here to help you manage your money so that you can afford to buy new things when necessary, but our challenge to you this year should help you step back and think about what you do and don’t need—and the waterfall effect that’ll happen if you start the cycle.

Giving Really Is Getting.

Giving a gift can trigger positive feelings in the brain, making us feel good. We don’t think there’s anything wrong with that, either. Instead of spending money on ourselves for something we probably don’t need, we’d rather spend the same funds on other people so that we are guaranteed to feel good. It goes without saying that overspending to buy both simply isn’t an option.

If there are still specific things you need to buy, check out the online sales on Monday, also known Cyber Monday, and stay tuned for our LV Daily with a guide to get you through it. In early December we’ll bring you a series of gift guides for all of the important people in your life—because if you’re going to spend money anyway, we want you to buy something good—but just remember to keep things in perspective.

With that, we hope you had a joyous Thanksgiving, wish you a stress-free Black Friday, and hope that we can all take today to be thankful for what we do have, rather than pushing and shoving our way to more.

For more smart tips from Learnvest, check out:
What Would You Endure For Cheap Plane Tickets?
Bad Financial Habits to Drop By 30
The 3 Ps: Three Influences On Your Money Decisions

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