As a financial literacy educator, I begin each and every class I teach with a statement that I repeat throughout the lesson with the emphasis on a different word.
“Everybody wants your money. Everybody wants your money. Everybody wants your money.”
It’s usually when I emphasize the word “your” that eyes light up and there are a few nods of understanding. The previous statement is only part of the truth and the other half is just as important.
“You have complete choice and autonomy over who gets your money.”
And while I know the previous statements are true, we can all succumb to the
slashed price sign; the puppy shivering in the snow (my personal weakness); the happy families on a cruise ship; the mile-wide smile when you open a package delivered to your door. None of these things are bad but holiday advertising, in particular, is working to bypass your head, go around your resolve to stick to a budget, and aim straight for your generous heart. No one wants to be Ebenezer Scrooge but advertisers tell you that’s exactly who you’ll become if you don’t get that certain product for your nice neighbor or don’t give something every time you pass a red kettle. This is where calm logic and planning must take the reins of your wallet against the gentle (read “arm-twisting”) nudging (read “coercive headlock”) of holiday advertising. (Did I mention that everybody wants your money?)
You have been digitally studied like a new species; algorithms chase you into cyber alleys to get your credit card number; websites you’ve never heard of sweet talk you like you’re on a first date. What do you do?! It’s possible to protect your money from holiday advertising, but it’ll take some work and diligence to spend your money wisely with so much temptation coming your way.
Follow these steps to protect your money from holiday advertising and your post-holiday season will be merry and bright and your wallet will be as plump as Bob Cratchit’s goose.
The team at CESI is committed to helping you make wise financial decisions and to helping you understand how to get out, and stay out of debt during the holiday season, and all year long. For a free debt analysis, contact us and find out how we can help.
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