They tell us that it’s better to give than to receive, and we want to make others in our lives happy by adorning them with thoughtful gifts that we choose for them.
Regardless if it’s Christmas, a wedding, anniversary, or a birthday, we want to stamp the occasion by bringing a smile to the recipients face with the most appropriate gift.
But there is this belief that the more expensive or the bigger that the gift is, the better it is, and the more that you’ll be appreciated.
What may be even worse is that if you don’t give the most lavish gift, then the receiver may feel that you don’t like them. So what ends up happening is that guilt can actually drive up the quality of your gift giving. There is a distinct link which is associated with how much you love, or appreciate someone, with the cost of the price tag.
The problem escalates as someone that you shop for, will make a list of their favorite items or stores for you. Everyone also has a good idea how much each gift costs, so not only is the surprise factor of the gift giving eliminated, but so is attempting to guess what it is.
Telling others what gift you want, however, eliminates any awkward or embarrassing moments. A “list” can guarantee you condemnation rather than getting the wrong present.
This has evolved to the point that it’s now accepted, and is a way to avoid anguish, or having to return the merchandise back to the store. This however is at a certain emotional cost.
Guilt Free Holiday Shopping
• Stick To Your Plan – When you’re out there shopping, have a specific budget in mind and stick with it. It’s a tempting war out there where retailers will seduce you to deviate from your plan and money.
They’ll do everything they can to distract you, offering you adorable persuasive salespeople, appropriate sentimental theme music, desirable yet expensive items displayed, and sophisticated marketing methods such as imaginary markdowns and bargains.
So don’t fall victim and allow them to get to you. Stay on course, tell yourself that you won’t give in to their temptations, and stick with your plan. No matter what, be strong out there.
• Money Doesn’t Buy Love – Although it’s easy to think so in this consumer oriented society that we live in, we’ve all been conditioned to think that the amount of money spent, equates how much you love someone. Love equals money.
But logically, deep down, you know this isn’t true, but the mass marketers will make you believe so. Just think of the gifts which you’ve received yourself, and the one’s which meant the most to you. Were they the most expensive ones, most likely not.
Instead, they were the ones which expressed your relationship with that person the most, and thus touched you the most.
But that being said, the need remains that you want to go full rank to express your love. You decide to go off “the list” of what they want, and be more extravagant than what they requested.
There’s no one who’s saying that you can’t go overboard, and you decide to get the entire cutlery set instead of just the two forks as requested, which makes you thoughtful.
• Time Is More Important Than Money – Other than the annual holidays such as Christmas or birthdays, but for the more specialize ones, such as a wedding or an anniversary, offer them a service as a gift, rather than giving something tangible.
It could be a “voucher” card for running errands for them, or offer doing something around their home, something you’re good at and they can’t do themselves.
• Keep Yourself As Disciplined As Possible – If you really think that you love someone “this” much, then you’ll need to spend this much money on them. Learn to silence these inner voices and drown them out with more rational beliefs.
Remind yourself how much you can actually afford to spend and stay within that budget. Envision what the dollar cost will look like once you receive the bill. Also try paying cash or with a debit card instead of paying with a credit card.
Decide which manipulation method works the best for you, and then stick with it. Don’t get distracted when out on your shopping expedition.
• Shopping In The Proper Mindset – When you have negative emotion, such as being stressed out, tired, or anxious, then you become a lot more vulnerable to overspending.
For the majority of people, what shopping and spending money does is it releases stress and alleviates boredom, reduces anxiety, and any other current woe. So don’t begin your gift shopping under these conditions, but rather place yourself in a disciplined state of mind instead.
This also doesn’t mean that you should be putting off the shopping until the very last moment, this since you’ll lose control over your mood, and begin to panic spend.
Instead, try spacing out your shopping and the best times of day when you’re in your best mood, so you’ll then be less vulnerable to stress, guilt, and overspending.
• Remain As Rational As Possible – Always keep your rational thinking cap on while thinking as much as possible, not allowing your emotions to get in the way. Remain logical on the amount of money you’re spending and don’t allow your ego to get in the way.
Don’t allow yourself to get swayed into yourself thinking that you need to get the best gift for someone while shopping. Attempt to conquer the forces which are guilt provoking, luring you into making potentially bad choices.
Everyone has their own reasons and motivation to buy a particular gift for someone, and everyone also has certain weaknesses which can get them into trouble by spending too much. You can overcome these tenancies my minimizing your guilt and increasing your shopping pleasure.