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The Christmas 2014 thread

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Kitkat
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The Christmas 2014 thread

Post by Kitkat on Tue 16 Dec 2014 - 13:10

 Want to share your Christmas stories here?  Happy/bad/sad/unforgettable .......  here's the place to do it.  
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Avoid these 5 holiday spending mistakes

Post by Kitkat on Fri 19 Dec 2014 - 19:58

Holiday spending mistakes are like fruitcake: They reappear, year after year.

Buying out of guilt? Confusing spending with celebrating? Blowing your budget on trivial items? Or maybe you're putting gifts on credit cards because that seems easier than admitting you can't afford presents in the first place?

Instead, enjoy the holidays for a change and ditch debt-related stress. Here are five holiday spending mistakes and how you can avoid them.
Some good advice from Dana Dratch - Bankrate.com


Mistake No. 1:  Extravagance with gift wrap

Shoppers tend to buy expensive wrapping paper or gift bags impulsively, says consumer psychologist Kit Yarrow, a professor at Golden Gate University and author of "Gen BuY: How Tweens, Teens, and Twenty-Somethings Are Revolutionizing Retail."

"This is the one that I hear about most often, and it costs people more money than they realize," she says. During a holiday season, it's easy to rack up $100 in gift bags, wrapping paper and wine bags, she says.

Reuse instead. Recycling bags and ribbon is "perfectly acceptable today," Yarrow says.

Recently, a guest presented her with a hostess gift, announcing, "The bag may be recycled, but I assure you the wine is not," Yarrow recalls.


Mistake No. 2:  Charging too much

To cut the cost of Christmas, keep the credit cards under wraps.

"Tons of research shows that people spend more money when they charge things," Yarrow says. "If you can pay with cash, you'll always be a little more aware of what those gifts cost."

If you don't feel safe with greenbacks in your pocket among the holiday hordes, then use a card, but keep a running tally in a notebook or smartphone. That way, you're less likely to add to your list of recipients or buy impulse gifts, she says.

Rather than adding everything up as you go, set a total budget, then subtract what you spend, Yarrow says. "Dwindling balances tend to be more real."

Going into debt is a holiday mistake, says Doug Borkowski, director of the Iowa State University financial counseling clinic. "Don't put Christmas on the credit cards," he says.

And don't get "an interest-free, 15-month loan so you can overspend on Christmas," Borkowski adds. That sort of long-term borrowing sets you up for financial failure.


Mistake No. 3:  Shopping while guilty

Shopping and negative emotions -- guilt, panic or a mob mentality -- make an expensive combination.

Many consumers budget more "out of guilt," Yarrow says. "What people have to remind themselves is that money doesn't equal love or affection."

Short-term sales create an emotionally charged situation. Whether it's a flash sale, a Black Friday deal or a weekend special, the fear of "missing out" can override common sense, Yarrow says.

Being in a crowd can also change the way we think, she says: "When everybody is grabbing for something, we feel we should be grabbing for it, too."

Online shoppers aren't immune. Surfing late at night when you're exhausted or after a few glasses of holiday cheer can get expensive, she says.

The solution in any venue is to take a timeout.

Put the item in your cart, but wait at least 20 minutes to buy it, Yarrow advises. If it still appeals, "It's probably something you want."


Mistake No. 4: Not trimming gift lists

Long before you trim the tree, trim the gift list.

If money's tight, it's likely not a secret. Announce how you'll handle holiday gifts this year -- whether it's no presents, children only, exchanging names, buying a group gift or whatever works for you.

"For some people, their love language is receiving things," says Michelle Singletary, author of "The 21-day Financial Fast: Your Path to Financial Peace and Freedom." "You have to give them notice. You don't have to tell them your whole business, but just say, 'I have assessed my financial life, and it's a mess. And this holiday, I have decided to straighten it out.'"

And you can still find ways to let special people know they matter. One option is gifts of food that you enjoy making, says Mary Hunt, founder of DebtProofLiving.com and author of "7 Money Rules for Life."

Borkowski recommends sending a card with a note -- a real, handwritten note with just a few lines to say what this person has meant to you this year or in general.

"It shows you're thinking of the person," Borkowski says. "That's huge."


Mixing buying with celebrating

"Separate shopping from the entertainment of the season," Hunt says. She follows this advice with her family.

"The sights and sounds of Christmas were the reason they loved the mall," Hunt says. "So I would just take a few bucks in my pocket to get a hot chocolate and a cookie. Our purpose was to go see Santa, or to go see the decorations and ride the train."

What do you like to do during the holidays? Listen to live music? Drive around to ogle lights? Get together with family in the kitchen?

Singletary says, "The best Christmas we ever had was when we decided to spend $100."

She adds: "The $100 goes fairly quickly. So what do you do for the rest of the season? You visit, you make hot chocolate. We spent the holiday with people and not in the stores. It was, by far, the best holiday ever."
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Kitkat
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Re: The Christmas 2014 thread

Post by Kitkat on Sat 20 Dec 2014 - 18:46




update Well, that was a not so smart move ...... annoyed

Meant to put up a 45 seconds clip, but somehow managed to put up the whole Simon's Cat series (over 2 hours).

chair

It's been fixed now. This is a 45 seconds clip!
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Kitkat
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Re: The Christmas 2014 thread

Post by Kitkat on Sun 21 Dec 2014 - 17:03

Last year was the first Christmas I can ever remember in my whole life where there wasn't a cat around the place.  This year is the same.  sadd

One good thing to come out of that, however ..........   Wink

(original video got deleted. Violated copyright!   surprised Shame, cos was so funny ...
but here's another one)




In memory of Pepsi and Poppy.


Last edited by Kitkat on Thu 25 Dec 2014 - 17:06; edited 2 times in total
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Umberto Cocopop

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Re: The Christmas 2014 thread

Post by Umberto Cocopop on Wed 24 Dec 2014 - 14:18

I'll say a quick MERRY CHRISTMAS to everyone and hope you all have a great day.

I'll be visiting my bro in a hospital ward tomorrow, but as he's getting better and doing well, that's enough to make my Christmas. :thumb:
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Re: The Christmas 2014 thread

Post by Whiskers on Wed 24 Dec 2014 - 18:31

Very Merry Christmas from me too.  (Where are the Christmas smileys KK?)  This is the nearest one I could find.  wine

Umberto, I hope your brother will be home from hospital by the time the new year comes around. catlick
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Re: The Christmas 2014 thread

Post by Kitkat on Thu 25 Dec 2014 - 8:49

Behave yourself with those nurses, Umbo.  You know what nurses can be like when there's mistletoe around.  drunken

 surprised
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Re: The Christmas 2014 thread

Post by Kitkat on Mon 29 Dec 2014 - 17:31

This is one place where I would so love to be for New Year's Eve.

Edinburgh prepares for Hogmanay  arrow   http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-scotland-30623465

A beautiful city in itself, I have been there only once - during the Edinburgh Tattoo, about 10 years ago.
That was a truly unforgettable visit.
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Re: The Christmas 2014 thread

Post by Jamboree on Wed 31 Dec 2014 - 21:58

HAPPY NEW YEAR EVERYONE!  toast
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Re: The Christmas 2014 thread

Post by Kitkat on Thu 1 Jan 2015 - 12:23

Same to you, Jamboree.  toast   Good to see you're still around here - we've not heard from you in awhile.
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Re: The Christmas 2014 thread

Post by Feather on Thu 1 Jan 2015 - 13:43

I hope you all have a wonderful 2015. toast


Last edited by Feather on Thu 1 Jan 2015 - 13:48; edited 1 time in total (Reason for editing : No picture appeared.)


_________________________________________________________________
I'D RATHER PURR THAN HISS!  
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Re: The Christmas 2014 thread

Post by Jamboree on Tue 6 Jan 2015 - 10:44

Not been around so much of late as I am currently not in the UK and have to rely on a very shaky communal wi-fi system.  rock   Some days grateful to get a full hour or so, other times zilch internet for days, weeks on end.  Reminds me a bit of this creature here   monster  

Ladder kept permanently on site to reach the wi-fi to administer a good shake, thump or twiddle as appropriate.

U.C. - I hope your brother is back on his feet now and to all here stay healthy and happy.   :thumb:
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Re: The Christmas 2014 thread

Post by Kitkat on Tue 6 Jan 2015 - 12:03

Jamboree wrote:Not been around so much of late as I am currently not in the UK and have to rely on a very shaky communal wi-fi system.  rock   Some days grateful to get a full hour or so, other times zilch internet for days, weeks on end.  Reminds me a bit of this creature here   monster  

Ladder kept permanently on site to reach the wi-fi to administer a good shake, thump or twiddle as appropriate.

U.C. - I hope your brother is back on his feet now and to all here stay healthy and happy.   :thumb:


That sounds pretty frustrating - but adventurous, Jamboree!  So whereabouts in the world are you and what exactly are you doing there?  I would so love to hear all about it.  (Now that I am no longer in a position to travel to such an extent, I have to compensate by listening to and reading about the tales and adventures of others).  Still, could be a whole lot worse, I suppose.   sunny   v2

Hope your year is a happy one, wherever you are ...  and I hope you don't have to wait too long before that little green fella  monster  pops up again!  giggle
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Re: The Christmas 2014 thread

Post by Umberto Cocopop on Wed 14 Jan 2015 - 1:51

Jamboree wrote:U.C. - I hope your brother is back on his feet now

That would be great - he couldn't walk before he went into hospital! giggle

Thanks for the sentiment though - much appreciated.
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Re: The Christmas 2014 thread

Post by Kitkat on Wed 14 Jan 2015 - 11:45

Umberto Cocopop wrote:
Jamboree wrote:U.C. - I hope your brother is back on his feet now

That would be great - he couldn't walk before he went into hospital! giggle

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Re: The Christmas 2014 thread

Post by Jamboree on Fri 16 Jan 2015 - 2:57

Umberto Cocopop wrote:
Jamboree wrote:U.C. - I hope your brother is back on his feet now

That would be great - he couldn't walk before he went into hospital! giggle

Thanks for the sentiment though - much appreciated.


I do apologise!  Embarassed   I hadn't realised that.  Anyhow, good to read in another thread that he's doing fine now.

    Current date/time is Wed 16 Aug 2017 - 16:03