This holiday season, just like every Christmas, you have all sorts of businesses competing for your hard-earned dollars. If you’ve turned on the TV or been to the mall recently, you know they will market you to death. One thing they love to market is extra stuff. And, usually, it’s extra stuff you don’t need. You know what you must have to buy extra stuff you don’t need? Extra money.
If you’re getting out of debt or building your savings, extra money isn’t part of your vocabulary right now. But these businesses will do everything they can to tack on extras to your holiday bills. Check out these Christmas extras they’ll say you can’t live without. Truth is, you don’t need them, regardless of your budget.
You’ll hear the pitch for the extended warranty as soon as you reach the register. So we want you to practice saying this: “No.” It’s a complete sentence. Now, wasn’t that easy?
Decline the extended warranty simply because it’s not a good deal. The math doesn’t make sense because 75–85% of the warranty cost goes to marketing and commissions. Warranties at electronic stores are ridiculous because these stores work on such slim margins. They make most of their money on financing and extended warranties. That’s why you’ll hear a pitch about a $1 warranty on your $2 pack of chewing gum.
New Credit Card Discounts
Say it again: ”No!” Everyone from the big box retail stores to Uncle Joe’s Bait Shack seems to have their own branded credit card these days. They’ll be more than happy to offer you 10–20% off this $7 purchase of Incredible Hulk socks if you’ll open a credit card account. Just think … next December, you could still be paying off this year’s Christmas! Talk about Christmas memories that last.
Gift Wrapping Service
If it’s complimentary, go for it. But you really don’t need to pay for someone to wrap all your gifts. Christmas spirit wears work clothes, which might mean you need to get your hands dirty and wrap a few gifts. That isn’t too much to ask, is it? Grab some tape and a pair of scissors. Sit down on the floor with a little Christmas music in the background and have fun with it!
Christmas Cards … for everyone
We promise Dave’s not the Grinch. We know you want to send out the annual Christmas card with the photo of you, your spouse and your pet Chihuahua, Jose, but do you really need to?
Or can you send those cards to your 5–10 closest friends and family—and maybe cut out the pizza delivery guy, your boss’s cousin, and your 9th grade Sunday School teacher? Send them an email or wish them Merry Christmas on Facebook, but you don’t need to buy 100 cards if you don’t have the money.
Santa’s on a tight schedule, and he doesn’t have time to sit around and wait for your last-minute order. So make your list and get moving. Plan ahead (like right now!) so you don’t have to worry about those extra overnight shipping rates.
What are some other extras that you plan on avoiding this Christmas season?