Sunday, 25 December 2011

Recommendation: Don't Get So Much Stuff

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Stop and think before you buy. 

Here, in Canada, it's Boxing Day and it can be challenging to hold back when suddenly everything seems a lot more affordable. The  trouble is those deals definitely have a price. There's the financial punch, the regret of those final sale purchases, and my personal challenges:clutter. 


Image by Claudio Gennari

This Boxing Day, why not think about ways to avoid getting so much stuff. Here are some good points.

  • A deal is only a deal sometimes.  I'm a sucker for a sale, but if you won't use it, you didn't save money, you wasted it. Whatever the price, make sure you know what you are looking for.  Don't get sucked into blowout door-crasher sales. If you didn't need it before, you won't need it just because it's 70% off. Ask yourself:
    • How will I use the item? Do I have something else that can do that already?
    • How often will I use the item? If rarely, can I borrow it instead of buying?
    • Do I really like it?
    • My personal favourite- What will happen if you don't get it? Will it be that bad? 

  • If you bring something in, know that you must take something out. If you're trying to steer clear of clutter, this is the rule. Was that new pair of shoes to replace the ones falling apart, then be rid of them. If you just wanted something new, is there another pair you don't wear that you could give away? Think about this as you decide on the purchase at hand.

  • If you buy under pressure, you are likely to regret it.  Generally, I've got two categories of things I will buy in the post Christmas sales and neither require the instant choice of many December 26th excursion. The first list contains things I've been needing and can buy online- for example, a hard-drive. I've seen these sales last for a few days, so I have the time to research the different brands that are available before committing. My second list contains little things I'll use throughout the year like shampoo, hair-ties or tic-tacs. They all come in giftset form and they're items that I'm not terribly picky about, so I can wait a few days before seeing if they have what I want. If they don't, it's not the end of the world. If they do, I might not have to buy shampoo for a year. :)

  • If you don't shop, you can't buy. In general, I avoid the whole hubbub. I've gone a few time and come back tired and carrying closet-stuffers. It doesn't take long to know that steering clear saves me time, stress, space, and money. I can generally find decent sales throughout the year or get items second-hand at my leisure, while buying (less) more rationally.

*The stores are brimming with discount candy now. If you need some help avoiding it, check out the strategies I use to not buying Halloween candy.


Whatever you do, I wish everyone a happy holiday season and great new year. Since it's the traditional time for resolutions, I'll be posting a series on setting and achieving goals. If you like the posts, don't forget to subscribe.

Do you shop on Boxing Day? What are your strategies for surviving it?

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