4 Tips to Combat Holiday Marketing and Save Money

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As soon as October hits, marketing for the holidays starts. We are bombarded with commercials and ads for Halloween, Thanksgiving and Christmas. No matter what your religion or which holidays you celebrate or observe, the commercials and ads get you thinking of your upcoming holidays and traditions. The marketers and companies that have paid the marketers good money to create the campaigns are hoping to direct your thoughts and emotions in order to get you to buy more and more items. Do you realize when it’s happening? How do you combat it? There are some nice tricks to work around the marketing and work with your money mindset to prevent any “extra” spending.

 

Mid-October I saw a commercial about a family dressed in costume and trick-or-treating for Halloween. Each member of the family, both parents and each child, had the latest gadget to plan their route and to get updates on the best houses to visit. The commercial showcases several new features of the gadgets and several new gadgets. The Dad then remarks that he is so happy that he upgraded their technology before the “holiday”. You may know to which commercial I’m referring. If you ignore the cute factor (the family is absolutely adorable) then you clearly see what the commercial wants you to think and do. You may start looking at your phone and think I do need an upgrade and I could use some of those new features for … and when I do … We all do it, but there are ways to combat this (four are listed below).

 

Now, we are starting to see more commercials geared toward the major holidays in November and December. They want you to spend as much as possible for any major holiday or event observed during this time. You may start to feel pressure or the desire to get new items as you see the ads and commercials, as you start considering what gifts to get for others and yourself. This is what the companies want. Sure they also want to show off the new items, but they are also banking on the fact that you’ll feel the urge and need to buy, buy and buy some more things. You may need to use credit in order to get everything you “need” and we know what happens then, debt and guilt. Here’s how to combat the marketers and get what you need and nothing that will cause you to break the bank. First get familiar with your money mindset so you know which marketing tactics are hardest for you to resist. Next use the following tips to combat some of the marketing tricks.

 

1) Question it.
When you see commercials and ads, ask yourself: what is this commercial really trying to get me to do. In my family we play a game, when we see a commercial we try to guess what the commercial is selling before it’s revealed. This little game will get you out of the mindless consumer trap.

 

2) Stick to your list.
Determine what you need to pick up before going shopping. This will help you to combat a few marketing tricks employed within the stores. The holiday music playing and the scents in the store are all marketing tricks to evoke emotion to get you to buy more items, extra and unplanned purchases.

 

3) Use a waiting period.
If you just heard about or saw a commercial for a new item that made you want it, you know you just need to have it, then wait for awhile. Do you still feel the same way about it? Have you done research looking up reviews and features of the item to determine if it will truly fit your needs? If you’ve determined that it is actually a great buy and fits your needs then purchase it (after looking for deals and doing comparison pricing).

 

4) Think of your spending not saving.
There will be a lot of price tags and signs that tell you how much you can save by doing a certain action or purchasing a specific item. Instead of looking at how much you’ll save, look at how much you’re spending. If the sign says an item has been marked 50% off from $60 to $30 then you make think: yes I’ll save $30. However, the bottom line is you’re really spending $30. If this item is unplanned or something not on your list, you’re spending an extra $30 not saving $30.

 

Keep these four tips in mind when shopping to combat and resist the marketing efforts that want to convince you to spend spend spend. You will save money and still get everything you need and have fun during the holidays.

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Originally posted on The Whole Woman blog.Photo credit: Richmond Square Mall

About Dr. Maria James

Dr. James, The Money Scientist, has expertise with designing income management, debt management, and wealth strategies to help you live your best life. She is the founder of Pocket of Money, LLC and the creator of The Wealth Protocol™. Dr. James has also been a guest financial expert on ESSENCE, WEAA, Madame Noire and more.

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