Don’t worry — you don’t have to follow my lead.
- It’s rare to waste a little during holiday shopping.
- While I made a few big mistakes, you can keep this on your radar and stay clear.
- Avoid buying things just because they’re on sale, make sure you shop around for a better deal, and make an inventory at home before you go shopping.
At this point, most people are pretty much done with their holiday shopping. But if you are not one of them, don’t worry. There’s still a fair amount of time to stock up on the vacation supplies you need.
Now I happen to be pretty much done with my holiday shopping at this point. But I can’t say that the last few weeks have been successful for me. In fact, I made three big mistakes that I’m kicking myself for. And I share them in hopes of helping others avoid following in my footsteps.
1. Buying things because they were on sale
I have to admit that this is something I do pretty well every year, although I promise I won’t — I buy things just because they’re on sale. And what makes me sad about that is that this year, I bought most of those things for myself, not others.
Granted, I can always return those things I feel really guilty about buying (although some I’ve already opened, so that’s only a partial option). And thankfully, I can still pay off my credit cards in full this month, so those extra purchases won’t put me in debt. But I feel that I should have had more control over myself.
There have been some things I’ve bought for family members that I had every intention of buying from the start — which is to say, it wasn’t a random purchase by any means. The only problem was, I didn’t want to spend a lot of time shopping on vacation, so I ended up grabbing those items as soon as they went on sale. What I didn’t do was shop around to see if I could get a better price.
Now to be honest, since I’m self-employed, the more time I spend researching deals on toys and clothes, the less chance I have of making money. So by spending less time shopping, I bought myself more time for work.
But there are a few things I’ve bought where I’ve seen better value. And now, getting them back will be difficult, so I’ll just have to deal with paying more.
3. Not taking inventory home first
The few things I’ve bought for myself are very similar to things I already own. I bought a warm, cozy, loose sweater in khaki because I figured it would go with everything I own. But after trying it on, I removed the tags, went to find a place in my closet, and realized I already had the same sweater in almost the same color. If I had taken a few minutes to check my laundry list first (I mean, my closet isn’t that big), I could have avoided that.
At that time, I made the same mistake buying my son the same pair of gloves he has. That’s not a big mistake, though, because kids (at least mine) tend to lose their winter accessories. So this way, I have a spare pair of gloves.
We all make mistakes — in life and during holiday shopping. But I’m sharing these mistakes so you can avoid making them and kick yourself behind the fact.
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