76% of Consumers Make This Holiday Shopping Mistake. Don’t Be One of Them.

76% of Consumers Make This Holiday Shopping Mistake. Don’t Be One of Them.

A shopping binge is almost as bad as a real, food-induced one.

A recent Merry Money Survey showed that more than three- quarters of consumers overspend on holiday purchases. And its not just overspending by $10. We’re talking about an average of $263 more than expected.

That, my spending friends, is quite sobering, and can taint the joy of the holiday season.

So can overspending our calories and seeing the average five-pound holiday weight gain face us in the mirror as we squeeze into our sequin cami. How do we not “overspend” our calories from now until New Years Day?

After all, there is nothing less enjoyable than being fat and preferring not to be.

If we treat our calories like dollars, the goal of this holiday season is to get greater value for less cost, budget wisely each day and week, and to not have to spend all of January making up for the credit card debt damage we got ourselves into. (Aka- eating kale salad and almond milk acai bowls all month).

We Overspend Calories In The Same Way Holiday Shoppers Are Overspending Dollars

Surprisingly, many people surveyed do create a holiday spending budget. But why do 76% of those folks still overspend?

Here are some of the main bank-draining factors:

  • 71% spent more on gifts than expected.
  • 57% bought gifts that weren’t on their list (think: stocking stuffers).
  • 41% followed the “one for you, one for me” strategy and treated themselves.

We do this in our food lives as well.

Many of us go to holiday parties and spend many more calories than we planned or budgeted for, “I have no idea how one sugar cookie turned into four”.

Many of us buy foods that we would never get involved with if it didn’t look so tempting on the Target display case, “all the food had that come and buy me glittery light around it”.

Many of us “treat” ourselves: “it IS the holidays after all!” and “but the conference room was full of chocolate covered Santa’s!”

Save the bingeing for Netflix (season 3 of The Marvelous Mrs. Mazel just dropped!).  Below are some tips to help you avoid overspending your calorie budget in the next 2 weeks.

  1. Create A Holiday Shopping Budget:

If you haven’t created a holiday calorie-spending budget before now, do it. Look at your week, and figure out where you want to spend extra calorie dollars, and where you will cut back. You can’t have it all, so be smart and strategize what is really worth it.

  1. Be Wary Of Plastic

Cash is a great way to keep you accountable. So is “banking” calories to “earn” your splurge. Make sure you have enough “calorie cash” in your wallet to spend on those worth it food purchases. The goal is to avoid calorie debt.

  1. Do. Not. Shop. For. Yourself.

You’ll be exposed to enough goodies for the holidays in the outside world, so keep your kitchen clean of all your bad boyfriend foods. You have nice friends. They will invite you to nice celebrations. There is no need to buy tempting holiday treats for yourself (even if it is on sale).

  1. Are Stockings Necessary?

Think about it: Do you really need anything that comes in your stocking? Aside from maybe that new toothbrush you get each year…

Don’t make or buy foods that you don’t absolutely need to. Don’t use the kids as an excuse to bake on a random Tuesday, or convince yourself that your office colleagues expect your annual donut tree. Troubleshoot how you can get around these food situations. Can you buy one special cupcake at the bakery for your kid, and bring in flowers for the office break room? Don’t make excuses for putting yourself in precarious situations when it isn’t truly necessary.

  1. Get Crafty

Just like many people ditch shopping altogether to save money, and make DIY gifts, I make it a point to never bring food to a holiday event. Its one less food item I’ll have to be tempted by. I bring a gift of course (I was raised right), but it’s never a food gift. This is where flowers, candles, gift cards and hostess gifts come in very handy. I don’t want to receive food gifts, so I don’t gift them to others.

  1. Re- Gift To Save Money

And on the above note, if I were gifted food (I’m not), I would re-gift it ASAP. Keeping it in the house is a recipe for disaster, so I give it to anyone who would appreciate it.

  1. Remember: It’s the Thought That Counts

When you are going to a special event this time of year, remember to focus on the people, place and atmosphere. CHOOSE to not make it all about the food. I can almost guarantee you’ll have a great time (dare I say even better), when you don’t leave there full, bloated and full of self- loathing.

All of us would like to buy it all, but it just isn’t realistic if we want to fit into our pants. However, if f we can “do the numbers” this holiday season, we can trim our calorie budget and in turn trim our waistlines. And who couldn’t afford to lighten up a bit this time of year?

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