The leftovers have been consumed, the decorations are back in the basement and the gifts have been unwrapped. Now, the credit card bills will soon be arriving in the mail.
Look out, the post holiday spending hangover is here.
The pressure for perfection is real
Don’t panic, you’re in good company. In fact, 45% of Americans felt the pressure to overspend on holiday gifts; with parents being especially vulnerable to the temptation. Being a parent, it’s nearly impossible to look into your kid’s eyes and not want to see them open their dream gifts on Christmas morning. It’s no wonder that 28% of shoppers are still carrying debt from last year’s holiday into the new season. So why do we continually fall into the same overspending trap each year?
The holidays are an emotional time for most people, and the pressure to go overboard and make the season special is hard to resist. Holiday music is playing on the speakers at the mall, shoppers are holding their red Starbucks cups and there are sales around every corner. Marketers and shops are eager to take advantage of our weakened defenses because they anticipate making approximately 30% of their annual revenue during the holiday season.
As humans, we like to believe that we’re in control of our emotions and wallets, but our feelings tend to decide what we buy more than our heads do. That’s normal, so don’t beat yourself up too much!
Plenty of Thanksgiving, Black Friday and Cyber Monday deals make retail therapy a little too easy, especially when our usual defenses are already weakened. That new sweater you’ve been eyeing is tempting at 40% off and you’re exhausted from choosing gifts for everyone on your list. Since the holidays are emotional, being angry or upset can even encourage people to buy something as an act of defiance or self-soothing. Holiday spending at its worst…
This behavior is common, so there’s no need to feel ashamed. We can change our relationship with money any day that we choose. The choice is ours. Cheers to a financially literate and responsible 2019!