Tag Archives: Christmas shopping

Make a Difference with Your Holiday Gifts

As a young child, I would definitely look forward to the Christmas season. There was something magical about hearing the joyful carols on the radio, feeling the brisk chill of the breeze, seeing the houses adorned with sparkling lights, tasting the tangy flavour of sorrel, and smelling the enticing aroma of fruitcakes baking in the oven.

Like most children, I really anticipated the gifts that Santa should bring once I had been good all year round. It was hard to sit through Christmas morning church service wondering what was enclosed in those brightly wrapped parcels at the foot of my bed and under the Christmas tree.

As adults, while we may have lost the childlike awe of this season, many of us still yearn for the happiness of the holidays when we can enjoy family, food and fellowship. Although we may not admit it, some of us also secretly long for the presents and surprises that the holidays may bring. Continue reading Make a Difference with Your Holiday Gifts

Conversations at Christmas Time

To all my faithful readers, I wish you a blessed and happy Christmas! Just for this day, try to put aside all the concerns and challenges that you may be facing with your finances, and focus on enjoying the food, fellowship and festivity with your family and friends.

If you’re celebrating with your relatives and close companions, consider yourself fortunate. There are many persons whose loved ones are no longer part of their lives, whether through death or separation, who find this time of year particularly depressing and lonely.

There are news reports of disasters – famine, disease, mass murders and kidnappings – that persons all over the world are experiencing at this time. These should help you to put your own problems into perspective when you consider the immense suffering that’s taking place elsewhere.

So eat, drink and be merry! Spend the day making cherished Christmas memories that will last for a lifetime. However, when the holiday frivolity has subsided, your thoughts may return to reflecting on the less pleasant money issues that have been pervasive throughout the year. Continue reading Conversations at Christmas Time

‘Twas The Day After Christmas

‘Twas the day after Christmas, when all through the house,
Not a person was stirring, not even my spouse;
Scattered all ‘round the tree were torn paper and bows;
Discarded wrapping for the gifts, from toys to clothes.

My loved ones were nestled all snugly in their beds,
While visions of nice presents danced in their heads;
For me, sweet sleep was elusive throughout the night,
And day’s break only brought my fears into the light.

I had spared no expense in giving my family the best;
But now, reality hit like piercing steel to my chest;
With all the bills and debts set to meet me next week,
My financial future was looking desperate and bleak.

My twist on Clement Clarke Moore’s classic Christmas poem, A Visit from St. Nicholas, reflects the situation that many people may face after the excesses of the holiday season. Once the frenzied pre-Christmas splurging is over, they soon begin to regret some of the financial choices they made. Continue reading ‘Twas The Day After Christmas

Money Mission: Curb Careless Consumption

All too soon, the month of December is upon us, and many people are busy making preparations for various kinds of seasonal festivities. If gift exchanges, holiday events, party clothes, lavish decorations, and Christmas feasts are part of your plans at this time, it means you could be spending a lot of extra money this month.

In light of the current financial challenges being faced by the country and its citizens, we need to be very cautious when it comes to our spending choices. At the risk of sounding like the Grinch who stole Christmas, the reality is that this is not really the best time to be engaged in too much frivolous spending.

With 2013 promising uncertainty in many areas of national life, it makes sense for us to adopt a more prudent approach to what we do with our money. The possibility of more job layoffs, the depreciating Jamaican dollar and the ever-shifting date for a final IMF agreement are only some of the worrying signs on the economic horizon. Continue reading Money Mission: Curb Careless Consumption

Crazy Consumption Case # 1- Shopaholics Anonymous

Last week we looked at the phenomenon of ‘Crazy Consumption’ where clueless consumers are overcome with the desire to shop uncontrollably even when they can’t afford it. This out-of-control spending habit devastates the financial vitality of its victims by dumping them in massive debt and rendering them unable to realize their money goals.

We opened up the floor to our readers to get real-life stories from people who are suffering from this dreaded spending disease and are desperate for solutions to get their lives back on track. Our first case is of Marcia* who suffers from a clinical case of Crazy Consumption.

Marcia’s Story:

I’m a forty-something year old professional with a great job and fabulous friends. On paper I may look upwardly mobile and progressive, but the truth is that my financial situation is in shambles. Although I earn a good salary, I have no savings because I have absolutely no control over how I spend my money. For me, shopping is a way to escape reality, as when I shop, I don’t have to think about the personal issues that torment me. My greatest times of weakness are when I am alone with nothing to occupy my time. Then I surf the internet and go crazy buying things online.

I work with an international agency which requires me to travel frequently. On these overseas trips I indulge in binge spending, sometimes without reason. Last time I was away, I went into an expensive department store to buy one gift and walked out with over US$400 worth of perfume for myself. I don’t even like to wear perfume because it affects my allergies. I just don’t know what came over me. Most people might overspend at Christmas, but for me, Christmas is year-round! Continue reading Crazy Consumption Case # 1- Shopaholics Anonymous

Can You Be Cured of Crazy Consumption?

The shopper knew she had to move fast. She only had fifteen minutes before her meeting started, but she just had to pick up another storage box from the home decorating store, so she could finish organizing her closets. “Hmmm….” she mused, “I didn’t know they were having a 50% sale. Doesn’t hurt to look at what they have.”

Forty-five minutes later, she staggered out of the store laden with three bulging shopping bags and a bill for J$8,000. The pleasure derived from her half-priced acquisitions disappeared in an instant when she remembered her important meeting and her non-existent spending budget. “What just happened?” she wondered out loud, “How did I end up paying all this money for things I don’t even need?”

If this scenario sounds even remotely familiar, don’t despair about your inability to control your spending habits or think that you’re a financial loser. If you’re breathing and your heart beats, and you don’t live like a miser or hermit, at some point you’ve been stricken with an attack of ‘Crazy Consumption’. Continue reading Can You Be Cured of Crazy Consumption?