Let the games begin! It’s that time of year where whatever budget goals you had in mind evaporate. While you are busy trying to get ready for Thanksgiving, the whole world seems to be heaven bent on redirecting your attention to spending for Christmas. The first sign of the chaos begins with the always dreaded email regarding office secret Santa. The next email surrounds deep discussions on where to have the team Christmas party, and my personal favorite, what should we buy the boss?
There is no sense in making annual resolutions regarding spending practices if you are already in debt by December 31st! You will have no choice but to limit your spending if your cards are already maxed out. Here are some hint-to-the-wise tips for office spending:
- Shop on the day after Thanksgiving to catch great sales.
- Keep colleague spending to minimum. Gifts won’t buy you any loyalty next year, but a token says I did think about you and value our relationship enough to wrap this package.
- Set holiday budgets after you have enjoyed Thanksgiving with close family and friends. These are the people that really matter in your life and they deserve your undivided attention. Once budget is set, don’t deviate. Don’t purchase apology gifts. Just say you are sorry!
- Write out appropriate gifts that are unisex to make it easier to shop such as hand sanitizer, cookies, and movie gift cards.
- Think green and don’t buy things that you would throw away.
- Don’t be afraid to say no to requests for spending outside of your budget.
- This is the perfect time to try out some local small business shops in your community that you have always wondered about. Instead of large department stores that can be hectic and offer horrible return policies, try the little quaint shop in-town that makes candles, jewelry, lotions or candy.
- Take the stress out of your holiday season by embracing gift cards.
One of the most important things to consider about the holiday season is that not everyone celebrates Thanksgiving or Christmas. Sometimes it has nothing to do with religious beliefs, but perhaps it’s due to depression because of the loss of a loved one or distaste for the commercialism of the season. Some people might not want to celebrate because they are too far away from family and can’t afford to go home. Be prepared to respect the opinions and wishes of those colleagues who are less than enthusiastic about celebrating. By all means be enclusive, but remain sensitive.
Although this is the season to be jolly, this is also the season of carelessness and folly. Remember to limit alcohol consumption when driving, and don’t leave candles or fireplaces burning when sleeping or away from home.