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18WT 035:  Overspending During the Holidays!

November 30, 2021  Patrick Heller / Janet McCue

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18WT 035:   In todays’ episode our hosts Patrick and Janet talk about money and how so many people are in the habit of spending too much during the holiday season. They discuss how many people they know budget for Christmas and make lists for it. While others do not set a budget and when they go shopping for gifts it is akin to a kid in a candy store with a ten-dollar bill. Those people just buy whatever suits their fancy and they just charge it. As in on the credit card. Those are usually the people, part of that 13% of Americans that when they go shopping every year, still are paying off last years’ credit card debt.

Then there are some of those people that think they are doing right by setting a budget. Yet they put it all on their credit card and then make minimal payments on it. So that $1000 budget, by the time it is paid off, becomes $1500 or more.

The people that pay cash, have to be smart about it and begin setting money aside at the beginning of the year and be faithful about not touching it for anything else. In today’s economic society that can be very hard to do. Some companies used to offer a Christmas savings account that came directly out of your check. It was then held for you until October when you could remove the funds and begin your Christmas shopping. It was kind of an out of sight, out of mind savings account.

Our hosts also talked about the comparisons between layaway and Afterpay. The major difference is that with layaway, the store held your merchandise until it was paid for. With Afterpay, you set up a credit account and split the purchase into 4 payments and get the merchandise right away. There are other names for it such as Quadpay and Zippay. But it remains the same, if you default, it will affect your credit rating with the credit bureaus.

Some of the ways to make sure that you are not one of the 60% of people that went into debt for the holiday’s , is to follow some basic steps and stick to them. Some simple things like make a list, set a budget, don’t go wild when shopping (just because you are there and it is a sale doesn’t mean you have to continue to shop), set realistic goals, know your limits, don’t feel you must buy something for everyone you know. Consider a secret Santa exchange among friends and family.

Remember that if you are one of those parents that buys your child everything on their wish list and then some, they are learning nothing from it. They simply know that if they ask for it, they get it. They may become that kid in school that gives the other kid a hard time, the one that didn’t get those new Jordan sneakers, (whose parents aren’t as well off).

Don’t forget that when you are setting up your budget to remember to add on money for your Thanksgiving and Christmas Dinners, any parties you host or food for one’s you attend. Decorations and wrapping paper and of course the cost of mailing gifts can be very expensive as well.