Culture 05 December 2017
This may seem pretty self-explanatory, but it can be so tempting to just keep swiping every time you see something you or a loved one may want during the holiday season. If you put off holiday shopping to the very last minute, this can spell financial disaster. While a financial mistake or blunder can happen to anyone, if you plan ahead you can avoid breaking the bank!
Don’t wait until it’s too late, and if you really need to last-minute shop here are some ways to do so without paying a fortune.
Photo Courtesy of National Retail Federation
You might’ve had intentions to get your holiday shopping done before December rolled around, but life can get hectic. You may not have time to go to the mall or store after work resulting in online shopping! While online shopping has many perks, the downside is the costly shipping fees. It’s important to take some time and shop around online. One store may be offering your item but isn’t offering free shipping while another retailer is. You may be in a rush to finish your holiday shopping as quickly as possible but don’t press the submit button without comparing and contrasting different retail websites! In the end, this can wind up saving you a decent amount of money.
“Sorry Your Item is Out Of Stock”
Yikes, right! No one wants to hear their item is out of stock, especially when you have limited time left before the holiday. Unfortunately, this risk runs high when you may have procrastinated in tackling your holiday shopping list. As a result, consumers become more desperate to find something they can gift-wrap. This may lead to consumers having to buy costlier items in order to substitute what they originally wanted to purchase. This can be easily avoided by making it a goal to do your shopping earlier on in the season when stores have more stock. By last minute shopping, you put yourself at risk for spending more and putting your budget in jeopardy.
To dodge making a big financial mistake that can lead you to accrue holiday debt, bring cash with you. While your item might be out of stock, still aim to bring the amount that item would’ve cost you to purchase an alternative gift to ward off racking up a larger subtotal. Make a budget with the maximum amount of money you can afford to spend on gifts this year. Before you even leave the house, make a list of who to buy for, what to buy, and the costs. Mapping out what you plan to purchase will prevent you from going over your total allotted budget. Just because you are shopping last minute doesn’t mean your budget should be thrown aside!
Tis the Season for Identity Fraud
Since last-minute shopping can put you in a craze swiping your cards left and right and can leave you vulnerable to identity theft. Identity theft is becoming more and more common around the holiday time.
Photo Courtesy of Norton
While you are in a rush, you may not notice your card has been charged for purchases you did not make until it’s too late. Falling victim to credit card fraud can really ruin the holiday cheer.
To deter identity theft from happening, the top of your shopping list should be to protect your credit and bank accounts. If you are shopping online, avoid clicking suspicious links. You may get enticed to click on advertisements that are offering special sales or coupons but avoid clicking these unless they come from the actual retailer. Additionally, use secure connections and update your passwords in time for holidays. If you are shopping in the stores, you might want to refrain from using third-party ATMs. If you don’t already have your banking app, try downloading your bank app so you can monitor your statements quicker!
Remember, the holiday season is a great time to gift your loved ones, but you don’t need to go into debt doing so. The holiday season may put a weight on your wallet, but if you rack up the credit card bills during the holiday season, you will find no relief in the New Year trying to pay off your debt!
3 Min Read
Thinking of ringing up your ex during these uncertain times? Maybe you want an excuse to contact your ex, or maybe you genuinely feel the need to connect with someone on an emotional level. As a matchmaker and relationship expert, I was surprised at the start of the coronavirus quarantine when friends were telling me that they were contacting their exes! But as social distancing has grown to be more than a short-term situation, we must avoid seeking short-term solutions—and resist the urge to dial an ex.
It stands to reason that you would contact an ex for support. After all, who knows you and your fears better than an ex? This all translates into someone who you think can provide comfort and support. As a matchmaker, I already know that people can spark and ignite relationships virtually that can lead to offline love, but lonely singles didn't necessarily believe this or understand this initially, which drives them straight back to a familiar ex. You only need to tune into Love Is Blind to test this theory or look to Dina Lohan and her virtual boyfriend.
At the start of lockdown, singles were already feeling lonely. There were studies that said as much as 3 out of 4 people were lonely, and that was before lockdown. Singles were worried that dating someone was going to be off limits for a very long time. Now when you factor in a widespread pandemic and the psychological impact that hits when you have to be in isolation and can't see anyone but your takeout delivery person, we end up understanding this urge to contact an ex.
So, what should you do if you are tempted to ring up an old flame? How do you know if it's the wrong thing or the right thing to do in a time like this? Check out a few of my points before deciding on picking up that phone to text, much less call an ex.
Before You Dial The Ex...
First, you need to phone a friend! It's the person that got you through this breakup to begin with. Let them remind you of the good, the bad and the ugly before taking this first step and risk getting sucked back in.
What was the reason for your breakup? As I mentioned before, you could get sucked back in… but that might not be a bad thing. It depends; when you phoned that friend to remind you, did she remind you of good or bad things during the breakup? It's possible that you both just had to take jobs in different cities, and the breakup wasn't due to a problem in the relationship. Have these problems resolved if there were issues?
You want to come from a good place of reflection and not let bad habits make the choice for you.
Depending on the reason for the breakup, set your boundaries for how much contact beforehand. If there was abuse or toxic behaviors in the relationship, don't even go there. You can't afford to repeat this relationship again.
If you know you shouldn't be contacting this ex but feel lonely, set up a support system ahead of time. Set up activities or things to fall back on to resist the urge. Maybe you phone a different friend, join a virtual happy hour for singles, or binge watch Netflix. Anything else is acceptable, but don't phone that ex.
Write down your reasons for wanting to contact the ex. Ask yourself if this is worth the pain. Are you flea-bagging again, or is there a friendship to be had, which will provide you with genuine comfort? If it's the latter, it's okay to go there. If it's an excuse to go back together and make contact, don't.
Decide how far you are willing to take the relationship this time, without it being a rinse and repeat. If you broke up for reasons beyond your control, it's okay. If your ex was a serial cheater, phone a friend instead.
If there was abuse or toxic behaviors in the relationship, don't even go there. You can't afford to repeat this relationship again.
As life returns to a more normal state and you adjust to the new normal, we will slowly begin to notice more balance in our lives. You want to come from a good place of reflection and not let bad habits make the choice for you. Some do's and don'ts for this time would be:
- Do: exercise — taking care of you is important during this time. It's self-care and maintaining a healthy lifestyle.
- Do: shower, brush your teeth, and get out of your sweats.
- Don't: be a couch potato.
- Don't: drink or eat excessively during this time. Again, remember to maintain a healthy lifestyle.
- Do: think positive thoughts everyday and write down the 3 things you are grateful for. Look at the impact of John Krasinksi's SGN. It's uplifting and when you feel good, you won't want to slide backwards.
- Don't: contact a toxic ex. It's a backward move in a moment of uncertainty that could have a long term impact. Why continue flea bagging yourself?