Boxing Day: Five tips to keep the merry in the holiday

Believe 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...

Luxury for Less: Use creativity, legwork and a plan to get what you want

When people think about really managing their money, they think that they will have to give up nice things, and that they will have to have less. A plan, a little creativity and some legwork will often give you the things you want without breaking the bank. I spent last weekend at the National Women’s Show in Toronto. The show was decorated in very girly pink and purple.  It was big, loud and busy.  There were a wide variety of booths with the food and beauty section getting the bulk of the action. The women, for the most part, were there to get free samples, shop for jewelry and hair product, and to hang out with their friends, cruising the aisles of booths for something that might catch their eye. Catch their eye I did!  I wanted to invite the women who walked by to the possibility that managing your money doesn’t have to mean you have less.  To have that conversation, we grabbed their attention with the Luxury for Less gift basket. The retail value of the items in the basket was $772.  I explained to our guests that by planning ahead, looking around, getting discounts and asking for deals, I created this amazing gift basket for $290, saving $482 or 63%!  It was a great point of conversation, and a wonderful way to engage people in a bit of creative thinking. Here what was in the basket: The draw was a big hit.  Over 500 women entered for the prize because it spoke to the things they want – a little bit of luxury.  I showed them...