I'm a bit 'spent out' and will take a rest from all of the after Christmas sales for a while. There appears to be some good sales out there, but next month there will be better sales. I'm waiting for the Land's End free shipping and drastic reduction sale they normally have in mid January.
This is where I'd like to talk about the after Christmas sales. Retailers have an inventory that needs to be reduced to make way for the spring and summer lines. This can be a good thing for us. It can also be a trap. It's the traps that we have to watch out for. I have seen retailers take advantage of after Christmas shoppers by raising prices then having a '50% off sale' that draws in hoards of shoppers. It takes time to recognize the traps, but if you are serious about the frugal lifestyle a sixth sense begins to develop.
I won't shop much right now, but I will keep looking. This is a form of research for me. I also know that around mid January retailers are itching to sell winter merchandise to make room for the new pastels of spring. That's when I research in earnest and begin my shopping for next year. By then I also have organized the gift budget.
To begin your adventure remember that retailers want you to charge in after Christmas and spend, the same way you did before Christmas. Take a mental step back and relax thinking about what YOU want to do. This is a good time to begin a cash only gift giving budget. Begin stashing a buck here and there or five dollars at the end of the week or quarters and dimes. It doesn't matter what you choose to do. The end result will be you have more cash put away than what you started with. Look at it this way:
1.00 week / 52.00
5.00 week / 260.00
10.00 week / 520.00
Chances are the small amount you put away won't be missed. And the stress around the holidays won't be missed either because you have cash. Cash combined with purchase know how will make your dollars worth more even when everyone is saying the dollar is worth less.
Good luck on your adventure. I know you can do it and be thrilled with the results.
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