Did you know that the typical American is estimated to spend almost $1,000 this holiday season? Collectively, that’s about $680 billion of being transferred from your pocket into the coffers of Amazon, Target, Costco and their suppliers. What’s scary is that the typical American only saves $2,200 per year!
Is it just us or do you ever feel like all of these holidays are contrived for us to spend money in order to feel like that is the only way to have a meaningful holiday experience?
The economic powers that have conditioned us year after year to spend more and more money on holidays and things we don’t need. Whether it be elaborate costumes on Halloween, flat-screen TVs on Black Friday, or elaborate decorations and presents on Hanukah or Christmas, the list is endless but the money in our accounts is not.
We think it is time to reassess the importance of these holidays of spending and we are issuing a challenge to you. We want to challenge you to take a vacation from spending, or what we like to call a “spending holiday.”
How can I do this?
Choose a week (We are going on our holiday January 8th) within the next couple of months and challenge yourself to leave your cash and credit cards in your wallet. During the challenge, you are to spend on nothing more than necessities for survival such as food, housing, medications etc. Do not go to the shopping mall. Do not go on Amazon.com. If you do go, you cannot spend any money impulsively. By resisting the temptation to spend, you become more conscious of your spending habits.
A Spending Holiday like this can have many advantages. It brings your mind back in focus and could fix some bad habits you didn’t even know you had. Being mindful about where your money is going can help you make more conscious decisions.
In many cases, you will find you didn’t even miss spending the $100 dollars on clothes or $40 dollar on liquor per week during happy hour. Does foregoing these purchases make a huge impact on your life? If not, you may find your time and money being spent on more valuable experiences or future experiences. A spending holiday might not solve all your financial issues but by being more mindful and intentional about your money will only help you lead a more fulfilling financial life.