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The National Retail Federation reports that 58% of consumers plan on buying a gift for themselves during the holiday season, spending nearly $140 on average. It’s called self-gifting, and we’re all more susceptible to it than we’d like to think.
While it may sound merry to be your own Santa, we think it’s better to take your name off the To Buy For section of your Christmas shopping list. It takes up time and leaves you with less money to shop for others and give to worthy organizations. Part of the fun of Christmas is being surprised—you don’t get that when you buy your own gifts!
Here are three key questions to consider when you’re standing in line waiting to pay for that sweater that you must have right now.
1. Will this purchase strain my budget?
During the Christmas season, there’s a new deal everywhere you look. It’s tempting to go after each discount to snag some clothes or a new TV for yourself. You might say, “The savings are amazing!” To which we say, “The spending is wrecking your budget!” It’s okay to miss a can’t-miss deal. Whatever it is, it will more than likely go on sale again. You can get great prices on clothes, technology and more by shopping at the right times of the year.
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Related: Have You Ever Spent Money to Save Money? Yeah, Me Too.
2. Would someone else like to gift this to me?
Your family and friends are probably pestering you for some gift ideas. So make a list! Are you fired up for a Fitbit? Maybe you just want a gift card to your favorite coffee shop? Do some browsing online or around town, pick out the items that strike your fancy, and put them on your wish list. Don’t take away their joy of giving to you!
3. Am I robbing myself of a greater joy?
Giving—whether donating money to your church or handing a gift to someone—is what makes this season holly and jolly. Shopping for yourself takes your attention and money away from blessing others. Keep the focus on them. It’s a lot cooler to put a smile on someone else’s face.
When you share with others, you build relationships and focus on what’s truly important in life. You’re also doing yourself a favor by sticking to your budget and living within your means.
Learning how to budget like a boss, pay off debt, and save for the future is the best gift you can give yourself. So put a Financial Peace University membership at the top of your wish list this year.