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Remember when your parents would tell you that “money doesn’t grow on trees?”. You probably didn’t realize it but your money mindset was already being shaped at a young age. Money mindset is your attitude or belief about money, and it dictates whether you have a positive or negative relationship with money. It’s often influenced by past behaviours around money.

Your money mindset shapes your decisions as it relates to spending, debt, budgets, etc. A negative money mindset could have detrimental consequences as poor financial decisions are made. An example are emotional spenders. You’re having a bad day, so you go shopping and buy things you don’t need. Another example is “keeping up with the Joneses”. One may be looking to fit in or be accepted with a group of friends, or trying to impress others, so they always buy the latest and greatest tech gadgets (iPhone upgrade anyone?). You probably don’t even realize you’re doing it.

With the holidays approaching, your money mindset plays a big role in how you spend your hard earned dollars. Don’t overspend to impress family and friends. The best strategy is to stick to the basics. Spend what YOU can afford. Create a gift list and stick to a budget. Don’t allow others to dictate your budget. Alternatively, try a different route. Give gifts that money can’t buy. A gift of a personally curated experience (plan an outing, prepare a meal together), give the gift of your time. If you have a creative flair, make your own gift. A bit of creativity and DIY goes a long way and people appreciate a unique one of a kind gift much more than a store bought one. If you find yourself having to buy gifts for every family member, perhaps suggest setting a dollar limit on gifts or drawing names so that everyone receives one gift. 

Remember that the holidays are about spending time with loved ones and not about breaking the bank.

What are your strategies to not overspend this holiday season?