Thanksgiving is coming, followed immediately by Black Friday. What this means is that there will be enormous pressure to damage your health and wealth. It’s kind of odd that we generally enjoy damaging these two extremely important aspects of our lives. It doesn’t make much logical sense. But then again, humans are emotional beings before logical beings. With that said, we all feel the pressure to overeat and overspend this month. I aim to show you how to get through November without regrets.
Managing Your Expenses
In order to not overspend this Black Friday, make a list right now of everything you would buy if it was on a huge sale. What would your list look like? For me, it would be a new laptop. That’s it. Perhaps you have a family and you’re list would include things like a new children’s bed or a toddler seat so you’ll have it when your little one is ready. Those are all great things to buy on sale.
The reason I’m encouraging you to write a list is because, this way, last-minute deals will have no impact on you. If you see something on sale, who cares? It’s not on your list. You’ve already shown you don’t really need it.
This is a mistake many people make around Christmas time. They spend hours and hours determining what they want for Christmas. They add things to their Amazon gift list like camping gear or painting supplies. They don’t camp or paint. But maybe someday. That’s crazy. I know when I add silly things to my list, I never use them. Stop trying hard to want things you don’t really want. If something doesn’t pop into your head right away, ask for gift cards. Does someone not like you asking for gift cards? Try to remind them that they are giving you a gift. It doesn’t matter what they want to buy. It should be about making the recipient happy.
So right now, open up a text editor. List everything you would buy if it were on sale Black Friday or Cyber Monday. I also encourage you to turn off the TV, stay away from Amazon and don’t even talk to anyone about consumer goods until your list is complete. You don’t need people giving you ideas. You need only to think about what’s already in your head. Only list things you’ve been lusting after for awhile. Have you really been wanting a new pair of sandals? Put it on the list! Have you pining after a new pair of Ray-Ban’s? Put it on the list! But don’t dig too deep. If something is not on your mind, it means you don’t want it very much.
Managing Your Health
A conversation about wealth should always include a conversation about health. The two are symbiotic. It’s hard to have one and not the other. Thanksgiving, Black Friday, Christmas, New Year’s… they usually mean overeating, not exercising enough, drinking too much alcohol and not drinking enough water. I think we’re all guilty of at least most of these health setbacks. So for this holiday season, live without regrets. No one likes spending January regretting what they did in November and December.
For Black Friday, avoid buying foods and goods that encourage any of these habits. Items that encourage overeating, drinking, etc. include:
- Video games
- Junk foods
Instead, swap these items out for healthy purchases like:
- A Fit Bit
- New running shoes
- New ski’s
- A new CamelBak water bottle
Planning Attracts Wealth
The reason I’m getting this post out early is so you can plan your Black Friday strategy. Wealthy people and healthy people plan. There’s no other way about it. I believe that if a person creates a plan going into the holidays, they will do great. They will keep their wealth, keep their health and maybe even get healthier and wealthier.
What do I do? I definitely practice what I preach. During the holiday season, my diet and exercise remain steady. My daily diet is one which I can eat, no matter where I’m at (for the most part). I’m not on some crazy diet where I have to weigh my meals or bring a tub of protein powder anyplace I put my head down. My workout routine is the same. Even if I’m in another state, I can still do what I need to do to stay in good health. And yes, my diet remains the same as well. I don’t eat sweets for the most part. I can count on one hand the amount of times this year I’ve eaten any sort of candy. I can think of 3 times…
If you follow this guide, you’ll have no January regrets. By the time the New Year comes, you’ll be healthier, wealthier – and happier!
I’m a personal finance freelance writer and webmaster. I welcome you to visit me at www.thefrugalpreneur.com