Turning Holiday Shopping Into a Growth Experience

by Joan Sotkin - Date: 2006-12-01 - Word Count: 563 Share This!

Making Holiday Shopping a Growth Experience

By now, you have probably heard all of the tips for getting through the holiday season without overspending. In an ideal world, you would:

Make a list of what you are going to buy and for whom--before you go shopping--and stick to your listPay credit card bills as quickly as possibleComparison shop so you can save on some itemsShop before the last minute rushAvoid impulse purchasesShop when you aren't tired or stressed outBut when you go out there --either online or in the real world--you are up against a bevy of manufacturers, retailers, financial institutions, and advertising experts all of whom are doing their best to get you to break the rules. They want you to spend as much as possible and make plenty of impulsive purchases that you put on your credit card and take months to pay off.

Chances are that you are going to make one or more purchases that leave you with an I-shouldn't-have-done-that feeling. The challenge becomes how to make the whole shopping experience and it's aftermath as positive as possible. Here are some suggestions.

1. Today, write down what realistic financial position you want to be in on January 1. Then determine what you need to do--or not do--between now and then in order to be in that position. Part of the prosperity process involves learning to trust yourself and not abandon yourself. Sticking with a shopping plan gives you this opportunity.

2. If you are concerned that someone is not going to approve of your gift or will think you aren't giving enough, remember the saying: If one of us has to be uncomfortable, it doesn't have to be me--and it's corollary, "No" is a complete sentence. Additional thoughts you might want to repeat are:

* I am enough.

* What you think of me is none of my business.

* I am not responsible for other people's feelings.

* I'm fine, just the way I am.

3. Avoid the temptation to criticize yourself for any of your thoughts or actions. Make the assumption that you are doing the best you can given who you are at this moment of time and there is nothing you are doing wrong. (This assumes that you aren't breaking any laws.)

4. Before you go shopping, surround yourself with pink light and think about people who love and care for you. Imagine that you are opening your heart to their love and imagine that you are sending love to them.

5. Understand that the urge to overspend and put yourself in an uncomfortable place financially is often stimulated by the fear of not being loved and being left alone. When the urge overcomes you, repeat #4 above and call a friend. If appropriate, share your fear.

6. "Bookend" your shopping. To do this, you'll need a partner. Before you go on a shopping trip, call your partner and share with them what you plan to spend. Call them when you are through to tell them what you actually did. Agree to do the same for your partner.

7. If you are in a really difficult financial position and can't afford to buy any gifts, then don't. Offer your services, giving the gift of your time or attention. You also have the right to tell people that things are a bit tight this year and you don't want to go into debt. By doing this, you are supporting yourself.

Related Tags: finances, christmas shopping, personal finance, holiday shopping, aloneness, emotional healing

Joan Sotkin is the creator of ProsperityPlace.com, author of the popular book Build Your Money Muscles: Nine Simple Exercises for Improving Your Relationship with Money, and host of the podcast The Prosperity Show. Subscribe to Joan's ezine, Prosperity Tips, at http://www.ProsperityPlace.com and listen to the podcast at http://www.TheProsperityShow.com .

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