Through Thursday, the market was slightly down, based on fears the phase one trade agreement with China will not be finalized by year end. Keeping an eye on the bigger picture, the S&P 500 is still up XX% for the year. It’s important to remember that fluctuations like this are normal.
Something you should worry about though, is overspending on the holidays. A few practical strategies to limit that dreaded feeling of opening your credit card statements in January after a holiday shopping spree:
Make a plan, and stick to it. First, decide how much you can reasonably spend on holiday gifts. Think of everyone you want to buy gifts for, and how much you plan to spend for each of them. Rather than wandering through stores waiting for something to catch your eye, spend time thinking of each person, and what they would like. Remember it doesn’t always have to be a thing: sometimes spending time together is a better gift.
Once you have gifts in mind, do some research. Check prices online. Make a list of people and gifts, and know where you are going to buy what items. Avoid the impulse buys that seem like a good deal. Often that large bag of chocolate at the big box department store checkout is overpriced compared to the same bag at the supermarket. Just because there are holiday sales on some items does not mean everything is on sale.
When you do go out, bring cash. Our subconscious does not register handing over a credit card the same way it does when you had over cash. You’re less likely to overspend using cash.
Some other thrifty ideas include delivering a meal or baked goods the week before the holiday or giving books from your collection that you think would mean something to the recipient. Include a note explaining what their friendship has meant to you and why you think they would enjoy the book.
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