Find Joy This Holiday, Not the Insanity of Consumerism

By Alecia D. Blair, Military Saves Communications

According to the National Retail Federation’s (NRF) Holiday Consumer Spending Survey, this year, “consumers celebrating Christmas, Hanukah, and/or Kwanza will spend an average of $805.65 on food items, decorations, gifts and more over the holiday season.” This amount is “the highest amount in the survey’s 14-year history and in line with last year’s $802.45.”

To bring this into even more perspective, the NRF also announced that it “expects sales in November and December to increase a solid 3.7 percent to $630.5 billion.” Additionally, online sales are expected to increase to around $105 billion.

Before you rush to the stores in-person or online to shop, like so many Americans this season, take a moment to stop and think.  After all, the real meaning behind the holiday season shouldn’t be how many gifts you give or how expensive they are but spending time with family and friends, while celebrating traditions.

Keep your finances under control with these four simple holiday spending and saving dos and don’ts!

  1. Don’t shop without first creating a sensible holiday spending plan. Put away the credit card (or cash even) until you do! Then, proceed with caution.
  2. Don’t overspend. Here are some signs you could be spending too much this holiday and some strategies to help you stop.
  3. Do set reasonable expectations this holiday season for yourself and family. Always. It will save your wallet and sanity from credit card bills that come after the holidays are over.
  4. Do find the funds for the holidays by simply being frugal and thinking ahead. Remember, little changes, such as passing on that expensive latte, will help you save money that can be used towards your holiday spending plan.

Before you buy into the insanity of holiday consumerism, ask yourself what brings you and your family the most joy during the holidays? Spending aimlessly or spending time together? Find joy.

Set a goal. Make a plan. Save automatically.

Tip of the Day

  • Written by Guest Blogger | March 21, 2014

    Having emergency #savings may be the most important way to stay afloat financially. 5 Tips on how to start one: http://ow.ly/rswS2

Saver Stories View all »

One Sailor's Course to Financial Freedom

Written by Super User | November 26, 2010

We all know its not easy to get out of debt once you in over your head. But it can be done with the sound advice and support that the Military Saves program offers. I am a testament to that. I was a recently divorced, single mother. Like many people I had credit card debt, a car loan, bad credit, and a low income job that never seemed to be enough to put food on the table.

Then I decided I'd had enough of living paycheck to paycheck and worrying about money all the time.

Read more...

When You Start Small, Saving is Easy

Written by Lila Quintiliani | August 12, 2019

When Attiyya first got married, she and her Marine husband had just graduated from college and were focused on paying off student loan debt. They had both attended private schools and had sizeable loans. Then three months after the wedding, the couple found out they were pregnant with their first child.

The first year of their marriage, says Attiyya, was a balancing act between paying down debt and saving for the future.

Read more...

A Disciplined Approach to Saving

Written by Super User | November 26, 2010

I just recently retired after 30 years of service with the Marine Corps. I truly enjoyed my time serving the Corps and I flourished in the disciplined environment. I also took a disciplined approach to saving. Here are some of the tactics I used-they are very low to moderate risk.

Read more...