Hello everyone –   Welcome today to my weekly special message

Today is Nov 29th and the last week of November I wanted to wait until after Black Friday and Cyber Monday because..  that is what we are going to talk about today. You have probably been bombarded in all media, print, radio, tv, and social media about all the discounts you are going to get on Friday and on Monday if you act fast.  – but let me tell you the truth if you could have bought or invested or used your money in something on a discount that tells me that the true value of that object, book, toy or gadget is not really the value.  I personally don’t like Friday or Monday after Thanksgiving and it defeats the purpose of Thanks, appreciation and acknowledgment.

If you want to finish your last pieces of pumpkin pie and hit the shopping malls or spend hours at end in the internet looking for bargains –  go ahead… not me..

Today I want to share the alternatives things you can do for a more mindful respected use of your money.

10 things you can do  instead of black Friday or cyber Monday.

I was recently asked by a friend, “What’s your best advice to avoid online shopping?”  My answer, probably straighter than expected, was simply, “Close the computer and walk away.”  And that is the truth. If you close the computer and walk away, or put down the phone, you won’t be able to go online shopping.  Of course, that step is easier said than done.

This week, and the entire coming month, we will be bombarded with countless online messages to buy stuff we don’t need. They will all be strategically placed, crowd-tested, crafted by professionals, and designed to part you with your money.  But this year, probably more than ever, we need to take the step of resisting their appeal.  Online shopping is unique. And the temptation to buy can often be more seductive than shopping in-person in stores.

Consider this: online stores are always open, it’s easier to find individual items, the transaction can be finished in a matter of seconds, often times we don’t even need to pull out a payment card because our computer already has the information stored.  Making it even worse, we often find ourselves shopping at our weakest moments. For example, when we are tired, stressed, bored, rushed, or even had to much to drink.  The thought enters our mind of something we’d like to own, and 30 seconds later it can be purchased and out for delivery.  76% of us shop online. And with the temptation available 24 hours/day, 7 days/week, finding the strength to shut the computer, put away the phone, and walk away is not an easy task.

For that reason, it can be helpful to not just put down the phone, but to do so with purpose. Choosing a different activity other than staring at a retail store through a screen helps us put space, time, and energy between the temptation to buy and the actual purchase.  You probably have heard it before –  You don’t quit a habit – but your  replace it with another activity.

This week, when you feel the impulse to buy something online, close the computer and choose one these activities instead.

Ten things we could do instead of online shopping:

  1. Go for a walk.
  2. Read a chapter of a book.
  3. Bake muffins.
  4. Take a shower.
  5. Play a board game with your kids.
  6. Clean the kitchen.
  7. Cross an item off your to-do list or your not to do list.
  8. Call a family member or friend.
  9. Sit quietly with a cup of coffee.
  10. Go to bed.

You’ll find it most helpful to return to this list over and over again this week and month. Maybe you’ll find it helpful to slowly work through each idea one at a time over the coming month.  Or maybe, most likely, this list will spark new ideas for your own life of pursuits and activities this holiday season more worthy of your time and energy than buying physical possessions.

Imagine life without shopping

The billboards, commercials, and emails will shout a simple premise today: Buy more stuff to live a happier life.  We’ll be promised deals on electronics to upgrade our life, sales on clothes to become more popular, and offers on appliances required to create the perfect home.  These advertisements will feature smiling children, happy families, and groups of friends enjoying the greatest holiday season ever.  There is no doubt the image all around us today (and for the coming month) will paint a picture of how much our life can improve by buying something new.

But today, rather than desiring all the things we don’t have, it would be wise to take a few moments imagining life without shopping.

Think of the possibilities…

Less shopping would mean less regret.

There are legitimate needs in our lives, of course. And sometimes we can find those items on sale. But most of the purchases made on Black Friday or cyber Monday have nothing to do with legitimate needs.  In fact, 42% of shoppers say they regret purchases made on that weekend . No doubt because most purchases on Black Friday and cyber Monday are impulse buys not based in necessity.  But look around your home, there are countless purchases and dollars spent we wish we could get back. That regret never shows up in commercials or billboards, we feel it only after we get home.

Less shopping means more time.

Everything we own requires time to purchase, manage, and care for. (And that doesn’t include the time needed to earn the money to buy it in the first place).  On average, Americans spend over 90 minutes per day shopping—that’s 11 hours/week.  Some shopping is required (groceries for example thanks goodness for instacart). But just imagine what life could look like with an extra 11 hours every week. Less rush, less stress, more margin, more time for the things you truly love.

Less shopping means more money.

According to some studies, the average American will spend $1,802 on total holiday spending this year with Millennials leading the way at $2,053/person.  (By the way, that statistic is based per person, not per family—so multiply accordingly for your household.)  And given that traditionally, 70% of Americans overspend their holiday budget, a life with less shopping today provides a more joyful and less stressful January for sure.

Less shopping means more attention on family.

One of the greatest deceptions propagated this time of year is that you need to buy a lot of stuff for your family to enjoy the holidays. It’s simply not true.  Stressed, tired, broke parents are not what children need for an enjoyable season. Just the opposite. They need parents present and involved in their lives.  Imagine how different our holiday seasons would look if we spent less time stressing about, shopping for, and wrapping up gifts from a department store and more time giving children our undivided attention instead.

Less shopping means a holiday season more focused on the right things.

Each of us will define the reason for the season differently. I’ll focus on my personal faith; you’ll focus on yours. Or you’ll choose to focus on family or gratitude or end-of-year reflection.  None of us will say the most important reason for the holiday season is consumerism. But many of us will inadvertently live like it is.  We’ll spend time hustling and bustling through online and physical stores. We’ll look closer at sales and advertisements. We’ll spend money on things we don’t need. We’ll stress about getting the perfect gift for the perfect someone. Even 77% of us will buy gifts for ourselves.

But every hour spent shopping and every dollar spent at the store is one less dollar and hour spent in remembrance for the deeper meaning of this holiday season.  Certainly, we’ll live a bit differently this time of year than the other 11 months—and for good reason. But let’s not let shopping overshadow the true meaning of the holidays.

Today, and over the coming months, we’ll be painted a glamorized picture of how shopping will improve our holiday season.  We should all slow down long enough—starting today— to imagine the inverse: a holiday season built on our own terms.  With less shopping, we can all enjoy a more intentional holiday season this coming year

Looking forwards to hearing from you

Like always like,  comment and share.

Lorena Arnold
Speaker, Author, Business Coach

🔥🔥🔥Women On FIRE🔥🔥🔥

#Financial Independence Retire Early