How to Save a Bunch of Money and Get Exactly What You Want for Christmas

Dollars & Sense on 11.26.12
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Whether you were the first in line for the Black Friday sales or you were strolling Main Street for Small Business Saturday, there’s a pretty good chance that you were doing some sort of shopping over the weekend. And with that, I’d bet you even found a few things that you really liked or needed, and maybe just maybe (ok, probably definitely) you picked up an item (or more) for yourself while you were out there finding the perfect gifts for your loved ones. But rather than putting that new object into use right away, here’s what you should do with it.

You should wrap that item up and put it under the tree (or wherever you keep your presents). Give yourself a gift? No, if you were so compelled to purchase something for yourself then you must have either really needed it or really wanted it, and therefore it is the perfect item to have on your holiday list. Once you’ve determined that it does fall into the need or want category, let your partner, mother, child, or whomever else buys you gifts know that you’ve already purchased it so that they can reimburse you and factor in the cost to deduct from whatever their budget was going to be for your gift.

While this may sound like a strange idea to some, consider all the benefits. You know you will be getting exactly what you wanted. It will prevent your loved ones from going out and spending money on more things that you don’t want or need and that will clutter your house or require you a return trip to the mall. And chances are that with the chaos of the holiday season in the coming month, by the time opening presents rolls around you will have completely forgotten what was in those packages you wrapped back in November, making them still a surprise.

Oh, and if any of those purchases you made for yourself aren’t worthy of wrapping up and putting under the tree, and instead were just a deal you couldn’t refuse, they should likely get returned. When the credit card bills start rolling in next year, lower bills will bring you greater joy than whatever those items were that you got a bargain on.

Now, if you'll excuse me, I've got a slow cooker I need to go wrap!

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