shopping-eaton-centreBelieve it or not, Boxing Day does have a history that isn’t about shopping.  The day after Christmas was traditionally the day that servants and tradespeople had off, and they

received a gift from their employers – their Christmas Box.  It is now a bank holiday, and an opportunity to spend an extra day with family and friends, relaxing and eating leftovers.

In recent history, Boxing Day has become a day for massive shopping expeditions. Post-holiday sales used to start in January, but in the last few decades, sales have begun on the 26th.  This shopping day now rivals the American Black Friday with early openings, insane crowds, long lines ups and anti-social behaviour.  Electronics stores, in particular, will have 50-100 people in lines for hours before the stores open.

Crazy, I know, and I invite you to skip the chaos and the possibility of overspending.  However, if you are determined to head out to the stores, have fun and start with these five tips.

Decide how much you will spend

Know your numbers – what you are willing to spend and what your stopping point is.  Consider leaving the credit cards at home and using cash.  It will help you stick to your plan. When you run out of your planned money, go home!

Do your research

Heading out to wander around the mall with no plan is a recipe for overspending.  Be clear on what you want to purchase.  Check in to see if it fits your overall goals and be clear on what a regular price is so you know if you are getting a deal or not.

Buy the right stuff

Boxing day sales usually focus on electronics, winter clothes and holiday decorations. Focus on the items in which you can get deep discounts and skip the rest.

Check online

You may be able to get great deals without leaving the comfort of your home.  Check major retailers for online specials for the items you are buying.  Look for online coupons and deals. Check out Smart Canucks or  Red Flag Deals.

Be comfortable

Wear the right clothes – leggings and a tank top will allow you to try on most things without waiting in line for the fitting rooms.  Comfortable shoes will make your day merry.

All in all, have fun and be wise about what you buy.  Remember that a prosperous life isn’t about the stuff you have.  Happy smart shopping!

Photo Credit: Boxing Day at the Eaton Centre –

© 2013

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Personal finance expert, Karen Collacutt is founder and CEO of Make Friends with Your Money.  Karen works with ambitious people who are making good money but are wondering where it all went at the end of the month. She helps her clients to get clear on their money life challenges and opportunities, matching their money to their goals.  They build a plan, confidence and peace of mind around their money.

Certified Money Coach and Certified Financial Planner, Karen brings over 15 years of finance and business experience to her clients. Coach, speaker, author and change catalyst for those ready to create a positive and empowered money life, Karen delivers a fresh perspective on how to make friends with your money.

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