Sales are everywhere, that thing you were eyeing last month is on clearance, and Christmas is right around the corner.
But remember the pit in your stomach that made you reevaluate your life choices the last time you spent $40 on a t-shirt?
Well here's a few tips on how you can enjoy holiday shopping this year—guilt-free.
1. Beware of scams
Take advantage of the sales - but be cognizant. Just because it's their "biggest sale of the year" doesn't mean you're actually getting a deal. I've come across so many stores that advertise "discounts on their clearance" but are really selling the exact same things, for the exact same prices.
Try and see if you recognize any items in clearance from before the "sale" and see if the price has actually been further reduced.
2. Compare the cost of an item out of context
If you had $30 to spend on anything you wanted, would you choose that item? Are you sure you're not just buying it because it was slightly appealing last month and now it's on sale?
If the current discounted price was the original price, and there was no discount to your knowledge, would you still buy it?
What I'm trying to get at is don't buy things just because they're on sale.
3. Evaluate how much value it has for you
How much use are you going to get out of this item? Is it seasonal? Will you reach for it again next year? Will anyone want it when you won't?
The amount of times I've bought things that I just didn't want after a few months is honestly pretty sad. Try not to make these mistakes - both your wallet and conscience will thank you.
4. Take a look your closet around first
And I mean really take a look. How much stuff do you have that you don't touch? We are all guilty of using the infamous excuse, "I have nothing to wear," yet our closets are full.
I can't really provide a solution for this epidemic since I'm at fault myself. However, it doesn't hurt to take this into consideration when differentiating our wants from needs.
5. Make a strict cost budget
Factor in both your wants and your needs.
By doing this, you won't allow yourself to go overboard because you won't be able to excuse your purchases by deceiving yourself that "it doesn't count because I needed it anyway."
6. Shop for others, not only for yourself
Countless studies have proven that we gain more happiness and satisfaction when we give to others rather than splurge on ourselves. Yes, you will still be spending your money, but you won't experience the buyer's remorse that comes with it.
Instead, you'll be making someone else's day better, which is what the holidays are all about in the first place.