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Tuesday, January 19, 2010

How to avoid overspending on post holiday sales

Tip on post-holiday sales
How to avoid overspending!
A special guest post by Amy Bergin, mom and creator/CEO of The

If you are into post-holiday sales, this year will not disappoint due to the continuing recession. Overall, retail holiday spending was predicted to be down or at least flat and from what I have seen in stores, this is likely true. Yesterday, I took my two girls clothes shopping and the sale racks were plentiful. As usual, my girls get all excited over the display clothes which are full price, so before they could get their hearts set on anything, I reminded them of our spending goal - no more than $50 each. This simple reminder set the tone for the shopping trip even though I had to repeat myself a few times.

I then proceeded to the sale racks and pulled out several items and showed them the difference in price. I let them pick out whatever they wanted as long as the total cost did not exceed our goal and the outfit was age appropriate and they quickly figured out if they wanted to buy more stuff, the sales rack was best. It was fun to see them doing the math in their head as they made their decisions. My 8 year old asked me more than once "Can I get this one too?" I simply replied, "I don't know, what's your total so far?" She then realized she was over her limit and reprioritized her selections. So, after using a $25 gift card and a 40% off everything in the store coupon, they came home with over $200 worth of clothing for only $90! We came in under our goal and everyone was happy!
Did you notice the 3 things that helped us achieve this outcome amidst the irresistible shopping post-holiday sales?
  • We set a reasonable spending limit before going into the store
  • I reminded myself and the girls as we shopped of our goal
  • We prioritized selections within our limits
It is so easy to get carried away by the lure of low prices and actually overspend when you mean to save money! I know it has happened to me. However, these simple tactics are a proven way to discipline yourself and teach others responsible spending, respect for limits and the joy of savings.