October 28, 2013

Ho-Ho-Hold On!

A couple of weeks ago, we talked about entering the most “dangerous” season of the year, as Halloween descends upon us. And how true this is really struck me the […]

A couple of weeks ago, we talked about entering the most “dangerous” season of the year, as Halloween descends upon us. And how true this is really struck me the other day when checking my mailbox — both postal mail and email.

Every day, the number of catalogs, bonus “discount” postcards, “online specials” and pre-holiday sale offers continue to flood in and actually appear to be growing exponentially each day! It started a few weeks ago with a small trickle and now, I don’t even have any idea how the letter carrier manages to make all that stuff fit into a standard-sized mailbox.

If I bothered to read even a quarter of it all, it would suck at least two hours out of my day! And, it made me wonder if you’ve been getting as much “consumer pressure” assaulting you in your life, as I have?

As we ramp up into the retail “heavy hitter” season, temptations can be found all around you. And, worst of all, they have the most sneaky trick imaginable they use to get even the most “thrifty” person pulled into their consumer spending trap. It’s what I like to think of as the “50% OFF-$20 CREDIT LIE!”

I know, you’re thinking to yourself, “But, Dani, what’s wrong with getting something at half off its regular price?” And, I’ll be the first to say, if you don’t have to pay full price for something you need, why would you?! BUT, and this is a BIG “but”… would you even be setting foot or clicking your mouse in that store to begin with, if you didn’t have that discount, credit or sale coupon?

Someone I know almost fell for this; and she is not stupid but they took that back door into her brain. She got a $20 coupon from one of the retailers she visits fairly often and then got the follow-up email and then another postcard reminder of the $20 credit on her “loyalty rewards” account and that it would be expiring soon. Now this smart young lady, thought, “Wow, I’ve got to get by there before I lose my credit.” And almost went to buy something she had NO need of, HADN’T planned to purchase and would have COST her probably at least $30 to $40 on top of her account “credit!”

Fortunately, she had been paying closer attention to her “extra” purchases and snapped to their trick before she had spent upward of $30 to “save” $20. Let’s face it, the VERY BEST way to save money is NOT TO SPEND IT! It seems so simple, but it’s so easy to be sucked into that retail-oriented, consumer mindset and never even realize what’s happening.

You see all these holiday sales, and figure it’s the best way to save some money on your holiday spending. But, what if, you just refocused your holidays on something other than rampant consumerism? What if you spent TIME with those in your life instead of substituting fancy paper and shiny bows for a display of genuine love?

What if you offered the “gift” of your special talents to your friends, neighbors and coworkers? Maybe you are an amazing seamstress or have extraordinary woodworking skills or can create imaginative artwork with a few swipes of your pen or mouse. EVERYONE has special gifting and talents! Why not use that to enhance the lives of those around you instead of just grabbing something off a shelf with your sale coupon and then throwing it in a bag to shove into their hands?

Don’t you cherish more those personal expressions of love and caring, those treasured memories of your grandmother maybe sharing her time to teach you a special family recipe? What would mean more to you, to your children, to your spouse, to your friends?

I hear these amazing stories from our team members and our clients and my heart just wishes I had some of those precious memories from my childhood, like they did. Wouldn’t you just love to pass on a more meaningful and heartfelt gift as we enter this holiday season than fight the crowds and crazed retail junkies for the chance to use your 50% off coupon?

Remember, you’re not SAVING money if you’re SPENDING money you never would have otherwise! So, before you put some extra “ho-ho-ho” into the retail cash registers, just because of a big sale, think about how much more jolly you would feel with that money in YOUR wallet!

Tell me what YOU plan to do as we’re entering this financially-dangerous time of year! Share your ideas with me below and with our community and then start a “Retail Revolt” by posting this on your Facebook or Twitter account. Be a trendsetter and print this out as a suggestion within your office for the upcoming holidays.

And don’t forget, our upcoming Spiritual Equipping Broadcast is this Wednesday evening at 8 pm ET/7 pm CT. Write yourself a reminder and join us then!

 

In great faith,

 

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