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 1, 2014

    Are you ready to set your #savings goal and make a plan to achieve it? Take the Military Saves Pledge today http://ow.ly/C7sGZ

Saver Stories View all »

Setting a Goal Leads to Success

Written by Super User | May 24, 2019

Growing up, Marisa’s dad had always talked about saving first, but she said she didn’t really internalize it until much later. “I was drifting along with no plan, carrying a little bit of revolving debt, saving some money here and there, but without a real plan for it.”

Read more...

How Smart Financial Decisions Can Create Opportunities 

Written by | November 22, 2019

Written by Stephen Ross, America Saves Program Coordinator | November 22, 2019

Of the many stories Military Saves shares, most describe how someone was in dire straits financially and worked their way out of it with the help of Military Saves. This time we want to highlight a different kind of story. This is a story about how responsible financial decisions can build on one another to create opportunities you thought only the super-rich enjoy.

Read more...

Making Saving Automatic Leads to Personal Success

Written by Lila Quintiliani | May 27, 2020

Ryan’s savings journey started when he was an active duty airman. Frequent deployments and temporary duty assignments gave him the opportunity to save. By the time he transitioned out of active duty, he had built up a healthy rainy-day fund and had started to aggressively save for retirement.

Read more...