Few people ask, beg or pray for stress. Few intentionally solicit or invite it into their daily lives and routine. Chances are a paltry number of folks would welcome an extra helping of pressure, worry or anxiety, or consider it a bonus.
And yet, given the connection between debt and stress, American consumers do just that, especially at this holiday season.
Statistically, we spend about $800 on holiday gifts and more still on food, partying and incidentals. A whopping 63% of us have not saved a penny in anticipation of our gift giving. Credit cards are “maxed out”; and the amount of time required to repay our expenditures exacerbates this vicious cycle.
Holiday celebrations need not contribute to or fuel either debt or stress. This bears repeating: whether you celebrate Christmas, Chanukah, Kwanzaa or something else, your holiday does not have to break your bank.
Shop wisely and efficiently from March until October at garage sales, estate sales, flea markets, consignment sales and the like, including all places which receive donations. Thinking about your loved ones, and the people you buy for at the holidays (even if they are not one in the same!) will allow you to get really great deals before it is a rush or a crisis.
The more that you buy at a yard sale, the more money that you will have available at the holidays for things that are not available at a rummage event.
- You can buy stocking stuffers.
- You can find plates upon which to place your yummy holiday baked goods (without concern or stress about getting those dishes back!)
- You can purchase stuff to repurpose and turn into fabulous frames, quilts and more.
- You can buy ugly sweaters or fancy party dresses, shoes and jewelry.
These are just suggestions and just the beginning at that.
Your spring and fall treasure hunting could have (and should have) unearthed amazing finds, ranging from the small to the large, and including anything from clothes to DVDs to furniture. And, because you did your shopping over 9 months, rather than 9 days, your budget has not crashed and will not topple. You will eliminate buyer remorse and stress with credit card bills in January. It is seriously (and passionately) the best way to go.
“Peace on earth and goodwill to all” just might mean morphing into a thrifty, cost conscious, shop savvy, stress-less, garage sale fanatic. Your Garage Sale Examiner sure hopes so and adds this wish: May the magic of the garage sale merge with the magic of your holiday season.