Shrink Spending This Holiday Season

Posted by on Dec 1, 2009 in Success!Ezine For You



E. Carol Webster, Ph.D.
Original Copyright © 2009

‘Tis the season to be jolly, but chances are the recession isn’t making your money feel too merry this year. Even those who are flush with cash are scaling back on their spending, so if your budget is tight you are especially encouraged to rethink your usual holiday spending.

  • Think Before You Shop

The days of impulse spending are over, so be wise and give some thought to what you intend to purchase before you hit the stores. You are much more likely to control what you spend if you identify who you need to shop for, what would make a nice gift for your loved ones, and where you can get the best buys for your money. Many people don’t like making lists because they feel that it restrains their shopping – but that’s exactly the point this year. Get a grip on your spending. Figure out exactly what you can afford to spend and make a plan for how you’re going to make it stretch to do your holiday shopping.

  • Use Cash

Bummer, yes, but effective. When you’re dolling out those nickels and pennies you tend to shop much more wisely. The dwindling cash in your wallet reminds you that your resources are limited and that maybe that extra gift really isn’t necessary after all. Don’t face the New Year saddled with more debt. Allocate the amount you can afford to spend and when it’s gone – your shopping is done!

  • Separate Your Ego from Your Spending

The biggest problem with holiday shopping is the association of ego with the presents being given. You love the fact that your gifts put smiles on the faces of others and that you are giving them presents that they would never get for themselves. This makes you feel like a big shot, but this year you need to let that go. Like everyone else, you are probably feeling the pinch of the recession in some way, so drop the “front”. Agree that everyone will only spend a certain amount, will only buy for the kids, will make homemade gifts, or will forego gift giving altogether if that is what works for your family’s circumstances. Don’t let pride cause you to make purchase decisions you will regret once the revelry and cheer are over.

This is a time to enjoy the merriment of the season and to exchange good tidings with your loved ones. But is it NOT a time to get further in debt and to cause yourself to despair and to feel stressed out in the New Year. The recession is impacting everyone, so there is no shame in restraining your spending and bolstering your ability to stand strong until this economic crisis is over. Remember, that the important thing is to rejoice in the time spent with those you care about – not to define yourself by the amount of money you spent on them.

About the Author:

Dr. E. Carol Webster is a clinical psychologist consultant in Fort Lauderdale, FL.
She is author of the book for those dealing with the stress of success ―
Success Management: How to Get to the Top and Keep Your Sanity Once You Get There,

The Fear of Success: Stop It From Stopping You! ―
the book to help you overcome fears that may be holding you back in your life and career
The Private Practice of Clinical Psychology in: Voices of Historical & Contemporary Black American Pioneers
To contact Dr. Webster visit online at or call 954.797.9766.

E. Carol Webster, Ph.D.
Clinical Psychology Consulting
Mailing Address: 7027 West Broward Boulevard, #262  Fort Lauderdale, FL 33317

Reprint Policy: You are welcome to reprint this article for your personal use and to share with friends and associates.
Contact Dr. Webster to obtain permission for any commercial purposes.