Spend Less and Enjoy Life More with Holiday Money Tips - Washington FAMILY Magazine: For Parents

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Spend Less and Enjoy Life More with Holiday Money Tips

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Posted: Thursday, November 30, 2017 3:57 pm

Americans spent an estimated $655.8 billion on the holidays last year, running up credit card debt and overspending their budgets. Financial security expert and New York Times bestselling author, Pamela Yellen, reveals her time-tested tips on spending and saving during the holidays:

1. Get Clear about Wants vs. Needs: What do we really need? Stop and think about it and get clarity for yourself. And if you have children, teaching them the difference between needs and wants will empower them for life.

2. Curb the Impulse, Break the Spell: Next time you feel the urge to buy something you hadn't planned to buy, simply clench your fist or flex your bicep. Voila! The spell is broken and you can actually think clearly again!

3. Wrap Your Charge Cards: Some financial advisors tell you to leave your cards at home to avoid temptation. I prefer to wrap my cards in my goals. Every time I take a card out, I see a picture or some words that represent a goal that's important to me. I get the opportunity to stop and decide whether what I'm about to purchase is more important than that goal.

4. Distinguish "Big Happy" from "Little Happy:" The “big happy” for most of us is having memorable experiences and being with the people we love. That other stuff we chase? That's usually “little happy” – fleeting and not very fulfilling.

5. Be Consistently, Consciously Grateful: When we practice gratitude, we feel “wealthier” and more prosperous in all ways. Our self-esteem is greater and we just generally feel happy and appreciative of many aspects of our lives. Because of this, we're less likely to crave material goods to feed an emotional need.

6. Create Value Comparisons: Rather than falling for some marketer's value comparison, how about setting up your own? Put a price tag on some things you really enjoy and value.

7. Know Your Spending Triggers: Do you feel driven to buy extravagant gifts? When you have a rough day at work, do you crave some retail therapy to feel better? Are you triggered to overspend in a bookstore, hardware store or swap meet? “Know thyself” – and, especially, know your spending triggers so you can outwit them.

Pamela Yellen is a financial investigator and the author of two New York Times best-selling books, including her latest, "The Bank on Yourself Revolution: Fire Your Banker, Bypass Wall Street,” and “Take Control of Your Own Financial Future." Pamela investigated more than 450 financial strategies seeking an alternative to the risk and volatility of stocks and other investments, which led her to a time-tested, predictable method of growing wealth now used by more than 500,000 Americans. Visit bankonyourself.com for more information.