Three Big Ways a Shopping Buddy Can Help You Save This ChristmasNov 23, 2018
Budgeting is the most basic and the most important tool for managing your money, yet most people avoid creating one because of the additional work it takes or their fear of the limitations they believe it will give them. However, if you read our Budgeting Mindset article, Budget: The Four-Letter Word That Isn't, you’ll realize that budgets are controlled by their creators and only as limited as the budget creator wishes them to be. You control your own budget and no one else. You tell each dollar you earn exactly where to go and no one else. Taking control is critical.
Having said this, the Holiday Shopping Season is coming up and we, as shoppers, are going to be going up against some pretty big guns. I’m talking about stores. Department stores or online stores, all have been hiring psychologists, marketing specialists, and shopping specialists whose entire job is to part you with as much of your money as they possibly can in their stores. It’s not going to be pretty, at least not for us, the consumers.
So, instead of going out there alone, because it’s a battlefield, it’s a good idea to get yourself a Shopping Buddy this season. Grab a friend, a relative, or a neighbor and create a Shopping Buddy to plan your attack and go shopping with this season. It’s going to help you both in three tremendous ways.
First, a buddy provides support. They’re with you at potential moments of weakness. For instance, until only a few months ago, I had a huge movie collection. When I say huge, I mean I had over 3,500 DVD and Blu-ray movies in my collection. My old house had a movie room with nine bookshelves that went up to the ceiling full of movies. It was awesome, I mean... ridiculous. No, it was awesome. I love movies. What can I say? Now, I probably had as many books as I did movies, but I couldn’t walk by a movie display without buying something. Holidays were the worst. Stores like Target and Best Buy always had $3 Blu-rays that I just couldn’t pass up. I was addicted to buying movies and building my library. However, I decided to put a stop to it last year. I decided to ask a friend to go shopping with me and keep me from going nuts over the movies. I had a list and I just wanted the stuff on the list. I made her promise to not allow me to stray from my list and to not let me buy anything for myself. Guess what? She didn’t allow me to stray. She kept me on task and helped me stick to my list, which kept me on budget. A Shopping Buddy can do that for you, too. You can do it for each other. You can provide enough support that you’ll be able to stick to your list, stay on budget, and keep to the task at hand of buying only what you decide ahead of time that you’re going to buy. Support is great!
Second, a buddy can help you create a reasonable Gift Giving Budget and Shopping List... before you set out on your shopping spree. You’ll have someone you can bounce ideas off of. Then, because they know your budget, the money you chose to spend, and they know your list and who’s on it, they can help pull you away from your shopping addiction, like pulling me away from the movie bins and keep you on task without straying better than you can do yourself.
Third, a shopping buddy might be all the discipline you need. Sometimes, just having another person there helps you stay on track the most as long as they are in on your full agenda. Think of it as a workout partner. If your girlfriend is showing up at 7 am, rain or shine, everyday to workout with you, you’re more likely to pull yourself out of bed because you know she’s on her way. You don’t want to let her down or make her drive all that way for nothing. Face it. We do a lot more to please other people than we do for ourselves. That same rule applies here. If you decide together that you’ll only go shopping together and you’ll hold each other accountable, you are way more likely to keep your word because it’s your word to your buddy and not to you in the mirror.
Therefore, I believe one of the best ways to keep yourself from overspending this holiday is to get a Shopping Buddy. The two of you can set some ground rules, go over each other’s anticipated budget, make a list together, and hold each other to it. If you have to, use Facetime or Skype but don’t let excuses get in the way. Be there for someone and allow someone to be there for you, too.
Michelle R Russell
© The Prosperity Process, LLC
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