Good news, folks. Holiday shopping has surged to levels comparable to 2007’s. Retail stocks are on the rise. Looks like Black Friday, Cyber Monday, and Free Shipping Day worked their magic as consumers are consuming and contributing to an economy that’s been hurting for close to three years now. With more shoppers in the mix, things can get tense and hectic. Luckily, we’ve got handy dandy tips to survive the chaos of discounts, deals, and steals during the final few days before Christmas.
Make Sure To Eat Enough Food
I don’t know about you but when I get hungry, I get cranky and that leads to bad decisions. Your diet affects more than just your weight but your emotions as well. Some foods to consider before venturing out the store include whole wheat or multi-grain bagel with cheese, cereal, fruit, yogurt, whole wheat or multi-grain toast with peanut butter, hard-boiled egg sliced into a whole-wheat pita, and oatmeal with raisins. Whichever meal you choose, make sure it’s loaded with complex carbohydrates to fight fatigue.
Drinking plenty of water is generally a good overall tip for just about everything you do in life. Don’t deprive your body of the most essential part of its health. You’d be surprised how much more positive you’ll be; that will result in positive choices at the store. You’ll also feel less regretful when you return home with that hideous sweater.
Seriously? It lights up and makes noises. Yikes.
Go Easy On The Coffee
Look, we all need that extra boost in the mornings to get us through the day but shooting yourself up with that double espresso from Starbucks is going to land you on the moon. When you get wired and jittery, you tend to lose your filter then you lose your mind. Not good if you’re trying to limit your impulse buys. Some would suggest tea is a suitable replacement or maybe even Red Bull. We believe 5 Hour Energy will get the job done. Whatever you do, if people are giving you worried looks, cut your losses and hit the internet before you end up in handcuffs.
At this point, you must be thinking, This is getting ridiculous. I’m going shopping, not returning a punt! Easy, DeSean, we understand your lazy butt hates all kinds of physical activity, but it’s important to be limber when bobbing and weaving your way through the masses. You’re bound to encounter herds of small children running wild or the couple breaking up. You want to get trampled? Trust us, spending the holiday in the ER isn’t as merry as it sounds. Those nurses want to get their egg nog on. Pulled muscles are the absolute worst, so why risk injury? Plus, stretching makes you feel good. Again, positive energy leads to positive decisions.
Mind Your Manners
You might’ve noticed a lot of these tips could be applied to more than just holiday shopping. This one’s all about karma. You cut someone off to snag that last video game for your cousin and it’ll come back to haunt you. Maybe not today, maybe not tomorrow, but some day. The cashier gives you too much change back and you bring this to their attention? You might just get to keep it or she’ll be nice enough to throw a gift card your way. Pay it forward and you won’t have to worry about a black eye. People are a little more stressed around the holidays so why contribute to it? Do you part in easing that tension and it’ll go viral. Sounds cheesy, but Christmas cheer and the holiday spirit can be infectious when it’s done right.
Take Deep Breaths
True, you’re not having a baby (though the test says otherwise), but increasing your oxygen intake is right up there with drinking water and not over-caffeinating. It regulates your heartbeat and puts your mind at ease. Anger management isn’t just a mediocre Adam Sandler flick, it’s the key to a pleasant holiday shopping experience. Just make sure you do this before you enter the store or in a private area. A lot of these retail employees get trigger happy when calling security during this frenzied time of year.
Hide Your Credit Card
Young college kids don’t fully grasp how much debt sucks. Some of us are STILL paying off our student loans 10, 15, and 20 years after we walked across the stage and accepted our diplomas. If you can’t afford it now, you’ll pay for it big time later. Credit cards are meant for emergencies only. Those Air Jordans are NOT an emergency. Distinguishing “want” from “need” is crucial to your fiscal health. When you see something out of your budget, ask yourself if the 20% interest rate is worth it. As much as bail outs are en vogue right now, not everyone can be saved. Think about the feeling you get when you find a bargain and save money versus the dread and anxiety that come with opening your credit card statement.
Don’t Believe The Hype
Not only is this a great song by Public Enemy, but it’s a theory that is frequently overlooked and undervalued in contemporary American society. It seems America’s been built on hype and there’s no greater hyped season than the holidays. You might realize these guidelines are the fundamental ingredients for making a sound decision and keeping a level head when everyone has temporarily gone insane. Do your due diligence and research the items on your to-get list and reap the benefits. Marketers and advertisers have a nasty habit of big promises and to good to be true selling points. Don’t be a sucker. By the way, gullible isn’t a word in the dictionary. If you end up with an iRenew then we’ve done a poor choice of guiding you.
Filter Word-of-Mouth Buzz
Who do you trust? That’s what this tip boils down to. If your best friend also happens to be a pathlogical liar or if you’ve been burned by the words of your girlfriend, you know the feeling. Everyone has an opinion and some people treasure theirs more so than others. Those who champion their own personal beliefs on a pedestal with a megaphone need to be muted sometimes. When someone’s so dead set in their ways or so vehemently defend their choices, you have to be a bit skeptical about why they’re so zealous. Never hurts to take what people say with a grain of salt. If you can somehow remain objective during this whole process, kudos! It’s easy to get wrapped up in the hysteria.
Stick To Your Budget
It’s one of the most basic money monitoring skills yet not everyone does it. Create a budget and stick to it. It takes maybe an hour out of your day, but it’s an hour spent wisely (versus that hour you spent stalking your ex on Facebook – give it up, bro, she’s moved on). This also gives you a chance to think about the people most important to you. What would make them happy? A watch, a purse, a pair of shoes? That look of surprise and joy on their face is priceless. The story you tell after they ask you how you afforded it will be one of pride. Hope you have your umbrella because you’re about to get showered with admiration!
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