No matter how firm you are in your frugality, this is one time of year when you’re likely to fall off the wagon. Whether it’s shopping for family or for yourself, holiday advertising combined with great deals can make it difficult to resist the urge to spend.
The easiest way to avoid it — or at least minimize the damage — is to be aware of your own weaknesses. It’s different for everyone. Whether you’re addicted to high-end shoes, high fashion, or just expensive gifts for friends and family, self awareness can help you avoid situations where you’re likely to give in.
Here are my top frugal weaknesses:
Computers, televisions, gadgets, camera gear … I love all of it. So when I see a great deal, it can be very difficult for me to resist.
How to avoid the temptation: I don’t browse electronics stores or websites unless I need to make a very specific purchase that I’ve planned in advance. And on the day after Thanksgiving, I won’t be anywhere near an electronics store.
I’ve written before about my husband’s expensive taste in food, and I would be lying if I didn’t admit that I like pricey, specialty foods myself.
How to avoid the temptation: We make a specific grocery list every week, purchase only the essentials, and avoid browsing as much as possible.
Once upon a time, my husband and I spent our weekends browsing at Barnes and Noble and rarely left without bringing home something new for the bookshelf.
How to avoid temptation: Browse the library or a friend’s bookshelf instead of the bookstore.
Every year I’m tempted to spend way more than I can afford on the people I love.
How to avoid temptation: We already set a budget for how much we can afford to spend on holiday gifts, and we’re making a list now of the best gifts for everyone on our list within our budget. By planning ahead, we reduce the chance of panicking at the last minute and spending more money than we have to.
What are your frugal weaknesses, and how do you avoid them?