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E220- How To Avoid Overspending Over The Holidays

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Katie is helping teachers get their financial lives together. If you’re a teacher and you’re looking to achieve financial greatness head on over to!

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Denis O’Brien [0:37]
Welcome to Episode 220. How to Avoid overspending during the holidays. Hey money clan, a warm welcome to the Chain of Wealth podcast. I’m your host, Denis O’Brien.

Katie Welsh [0:50]
And I’m Katie Welsh.

Denis O’Brien [1:20]
So Katie, fun episode today and the holiday seasons are coming. And I’m really excited because this is my favorite time of year.

Katie Welsh [1:0]
I can’t believe it is already the holiday season. I feel like it was not that long ago because we got engaged and did all of a lot of traveling for the holidays last year. And when I think about it, it doesn’t seem like it was really that long ago.

Denis O’Brien [1:16]

Katie Welsh [1:17]
This year has gone by so quickly.

Denis O’Brien [1:20]
Yeah, it totally has. It’s actually crazy how quickly it’s gone by. So before we dive into today’s show, we’ve got a quick question for you guys and we’d love if you would send us a DM on Instagram. So our question for you today is what is your favorite part about the holiday season? So it can be anything from you You enjoy cooking or you may be enjoy opening presents or buying gifts for other people, whatever it is let us know on Instagram. It’s @chainofwealth on instagram. Alright Kate you ready to dive on in?

Katie Welsh [2:24]

Denis O’Brien [2:24]
Fantastic. Let’s do it.

Voice Over [1:58]
Welcome to Chain of Wealth. Here’s your host, Denis inspiring you to begin your journey of financial freedom.

Denis O’Brien [2:11]
Alright Kate, so the holidays is such a fun time and there is a ton of stuff going on. Everyone’s having an absolute blast, but it’s super, super easy to start overspending.

Katie Welsh [2:24]
Yeah, especially when you start factoring in buying gifts for people and you know there’s always obviously you’re going to buy gifts for your family but what do you do for with the people that you work closely with and you see all the time? What is the etiquette for buying for them and then but you know you have your New Year’s Eve outfit if you’re going out for New Year’s Eve or new work outfit, for your work holiday party. All those are little extra things like some people probably don’t factor into their budget all the time.

Denis O’Brien [3:28]
Yeah, and it’s super easy not to factor in stuff because typically when people budget they look at an ordinary month and ordinary months don’t necessarily have a ton of holidays in them. And you know in America it really starts with thanksgiving them in the whole

Katie Welsh [3:14]
No, it starts with Halloween.

Denis O’Brien [3:15]
Oh, yes. I do forget about Halloween, Halloween, Thanksgiving, Black Friday, Cyber Monday, all the way through to Christmas.

Katie Welsh [3:25]
And then New Years

Denis O’Brien [3:26]
And then New Years after that.

Katie Welsh [3:28]
It’s like you blink your eyes and turn around and then you’re there for Valentine’s Day.

Denis O’Brien [3:32]
Or Easter.

Katie Welsh [3:33]
Yeah so.

Denis O’Brien [3:34]
Yeah, but long story short, lots of stuff going on. So how do we get careful with our money? What What would you say is some of the important ways I know you mentioned budgeting, so maybe piggybacking off that, how can people switch budget for the holidays?

Katie Welsh [3:47]
So Den I think when you are looking ahead and I start usually in October, like you said, like, mid October, everybody starts talking about the holidays and you get those like, scary memes on Facebook or it’s like only, you know, seven more weeks or something like that until Christmas, and then they really break it down like only five more paychecks until Christmas. And I remember that used to give me such anxiety. So I would start kind of mentally preparing for things in like mid October,

Denis O’Brien [4:51]

Katie Welsh [4:52]
So first and foremost, I try to stay very focused. And kind of have a plan as to what I’m going to get people what I’m going to be wearing to things and trying really hard to realistically stick to that. So for example, we live far from both families. And for us to go to my family home,

Denis O’Brien [4:51]
which is in

Katie Welsh [4:52]

Denis O’Brien [4:53]
Florida. We’re in Virginia.

Katie Welsh [4:55]
Right? For us to fly home for Thanksgiving,

Denis O’Brien [5:28]
Which is a two hour flight.

Katie Welsh [5:2]
Is, oh my goodness, so expensive and we don’t get the day before Thanksgiving off. So we work the day before Thanksgiving, which means we are, you know,

Denis O’Brien [5:13]
Flying out that night.

Katie Welsh [5:14]
We are stressing to get to the airport that night and then heaven forbid, oh my goodness, if there’s a storm somewhere and then you’re delayed and you’re tired because you’ve been working all day. It’s a nightmare and the flights are so expensive

Denis O’Brien [5:28]
and packed and everything else. But we Yeah, we were looking for flights and for Kate and I to go down to Florida, literally for like what 3,4 days.

Katie Welsh [5:37]
48 hours.

Denis O’Brien [5:38]
Yeah, it was something like $1200 for both of us.

Katie Welsh [5:41]
So with because we just got married and our families are just going to have to be understanding. I told my mom, I can’t come home for Thanksgiving. And I’m probably realistically not gonna be able to come home for Christmas. And I don’t want to get into the habit of skipping holidays. So I made a not ideal arrangement with my mom. But its you know what we’re going to have to do for the time being, we are going down to Florida to celebrate kinda like a faux Thanksgiving, the weekend after Thanksgiving. So the first week of December, mainly because the price in the ticket is like a quarter of the price.

Denis O’Brien [6:25]
Yeah, literally.

Katie Welsh [6:26]
So it’s and it relieves some of my anxiety because then you know, leaving for work and getting to the airport, it’s not going to be as packed, the lines aren’t going to be as long. The flight is going to be cheaper and isn’t ideal, but I rather be there on Thanksgiving Day with my family of course. But sometimes being a grown up is not ideal and this is what we’re going to have to do. And along with that because when we are down there, you know, we’re going to do like at least a mini kinda Christmas with my nephews because I have a bunch of little nephews and they’re still small. And I’ve started you know, kind of making plans with my brother and my mom as to like, Okay, what are we going to be doing as far as gift giving this year because ultimately, you and I, Denis, so we don’t, we don’t need anything and then our little apartment, we can’t really afford to bring anything new in is bigger than like, a shoe box. And as it is like, my mom is in the middle of trying to get rid of a bunch of stuff and saving, and she would rather go on trips and my brother’s kids, literally between three little boys have every toy I have ever, like, I think is ever invented. So we’ve started kind of working out, like, how are we going to handle gift giving, and I think, especially if people and families are a little bit older, you can kind of make an arrangement for like, like a white elephant or, you know, something like that where if you don’t know what a white elephant gift is gonna say what is that really is basically when you can just buy, like one gift for somebody but it’s like kind of like a gag gift.

Denis O’Brien [8:15]
Oh so you you don’t know who it’s for. And like someone just gets something.

Katie Welsh [8:49]
Yeah, you could do it that way or you could even do it like a secret santa type way where if you have a large family, everybody doesn’t even goes into a hat. And then everybody picks one name and then you buy for that person. And then it still you still have the fun gift giving atmosphere. Just you don’t have to, when you meet, you know, you’re 35 cousins and your 10 aunts and uncles, you don’t have to feel like you have that burden to buy for everybody.

Denis O’Brien [9:17]
Yeah, I totally agree.

Katie Welsh [8:49]
And I think that’s also a good thing to do for work.

Denis O’Brien [8:51]
Yeah, I agree. Kate, and you know, the thing is, is as well like, I know, like a lot of people I know, we sort of spoke a little bit earlier how, you know, like you may be in a position where the holidays are going to cost you some money and you have to take out some debts to buy gifts for people and look, we’re in a fortunate position that we don’t have to do this, but not everyone’s in that position.

Katie Welsh [9:13]
And we are also very frugal and we’re not big gifty type people.

Denis O’Brien [9:17]
Yeah, we’re not but realistically some people may need to go into a slight bit of debt to pay for the holiday expenses and bear in mind it is an expensive month more things than normal, and sometimes You know, you just have more expenses, then once you have income, and that’s sometimes life. I mean, we’ve had months like that as well, we’ve been in that position, but say you are in that position, I think the important thing is that you have a plan, you know, like, you’re, you sort of know, like, how you’re going to get out of it. And you’re like, okay, I’m gonna put this on my credit card, I’ll be fine. But how am I going to pay it off? What’s my plan, and if I realize it’s going to be a shortfall, the earlier I can sort of stop planning for that, the better because I can start maybe picking up a second job you know, or whatever it is, and that little change that you make, it’s going to make a big impact especially, you know, if you’re going to be paying a lot of credit, well a lot of interest at least, but also Kate, like, if you do get financed position, you can maybe take out a zero percent APR card and maybe finance it a little bit. I mean not ideal because we shouldn’t really be living on our credit cards like that. But that’s a quick easy hack to just avoid those unnecessary expenses. But once again, I’d say like, Don’t Go crazy and be like, oh I have all this money I can spend it’s not your money if you have to put her on credit.

Katie Welsh [10:34]
No I think that’s really good advice then because having to pay for gifts and you don’t want to look like the cheap person so you want to buy nice gifts for people. But if you don’t have that available cash putting it on a credit card, and I like how you say like have a plan to pay it off, maybe get a temporary second job. Everybody knows there’s like lots of seasonal help needed during the holiday. Yeah, so that’s a really easy way to get to plan for that. But then also having a zero percent APR credit card so you’re not paying the interest on it. Yeah, is actually quite brilliant. I think I did I wouldn’t have thought of that I would have just put it on my regular old credit card. And you know started charging and paying the interest now. But getting a new credit card and if you want to get really thrifty and find a good credit card with some good point hacks. We have loved our Chase Sapphire reserve card.

Denis O’Brien [11:32]
Yeah, it doesn’t have the zero percent APR, but it does have other points, which are great.

Katie Welsh [11:38]

Denis O’Brien [11:39]
Yeah. So what are some other ways we can sort of do it? I would say sort of like planning your gifts in advance. You know, like, if you’re doing it through Well, no, not even that, like just sort of buying throughout the year. I know. It may be a little bit late now to sort of start doing that. But maybe for future years, if you start planning your guests in advance being like Oh I know son, so really, once the certain thing, and they’ve been speaking about it throughout the year, maybe in like, I don’t know, let’s say July, August, July. Hmm, that will be a really great gift. And let’s be honest, by the time the holiday season normally rolls around, you’ve probably forgotten what that person actually wanted. So instead of having to go to them again and being like, Hey, this is awkward but what do you want for the holidays again, you know, you kind of are ahead of the curve and you already have something for them. And you’ve now plan that expense in a previous month. So you’re not gonna get hit by, um, you know, having to buy gift near the holiday season.

Katie Welsh [13:10]
Well, and then if you are thinking ahead of time, maybe in August, is I remember when I was smaller, my mom would really start Christmas shopping in August because then it would allow a lot of time for her to build up gifts and my mom would even I’m pretty sure my mom would wrap things like everyday items that we would need like pencils for schooling stuff, even sometimes you buy the cuter pencil, and they would be turned into a gift.

Denis O’Brien [13:10]
I love that.

Katie Welsh [13:12]
But that does allow for more planning for it. And I’ve also learned in time having kind of like emergency gifts set aside. Now not that you know, we all know we remember every single person we need to buy for. And we would never forget somebody, but say somebody shows up to your house with a gift for you and you don’t have something in return. My mom, one of the first things my mom ever taught me about being like a good host is always having your emergency gifts ready. And especially during this time of year, you know how you can buy like, there’s really nice like hot cocoa packages or, or something like that where basically anybody would like it right. My mom would have like a stack of those in her spare closet. And whenever people were coming over, she would just quick wrap a couple of them so they looked like they were ready. And then if she needed a gift she would have on in time and then that way you can buy them in bulk because a lot of times you can buy those on certain days of the week at least where we lived. They will be on sale right. So you could get stuff like that or even at the Dollar General now there’s Dollar Tree and then there’s Dollar General. In my opinion Dollar General is much more versatile and you could buy better stuff there. And we used to buy a lot of our emergency gifts there and emergency gifts there for like, especially coworkers too were great because you could get your coworker something usable something nice you know you don’t have to go and get your coworker you know a brand new like prada purse a prada purse or an apple watch or anything like they’re not expecting that hopefully. But you can get them a nice something for 5 or $6 and it’s not going to completely break the bank.

Denis O’Brien [15:11]
Yeah case I’ve got a couple more things to mention. But now would be a great time to take a very quick break and say a very big thanks to our sponsor. Money Clan this week we are sponsored by none other than Katie. She has got an awesome course that she’s put together for Teachers, teachers that are looking to get out of debt, master their mindset, really gain control in their classroom and really just turn their lives around and stop making a lot more money as a teacher specifically, if you’re a teacher and you’re looking to learn how to get gain better control over your life, head on over to and sign up for the wait list for Kate’s course. That’s Alright Kate, so diving right back into our holiday fever. I’m gonna put something out there you know we have black friday coming right now. And Black Friday is a massive, massive day to buy stuff and same with Cyber Monday. All the the stores go crazy. They have these great discounts. But I’m going to just say that those are not always the best times to buy and very often if you just like a watching deals, there will be stuff popping up throughout the festive season that kind of mimics what you do you actually see on Black Friday or Cyber Monday, and you may be better off not buying on those days. So like, don’t get me wrong, there are a ton of deals that come up. But also, it’s just a really big day to spend money. And everyone knows that. So it’s very easy to sort of trap you into back walking in store and walking out with a lot more stuff than what you anticipated. But if you’re a lot more specific in terms of your planning, and looking at one or two things exactly, and sort of looking at the price, probably a couple weeks before, and maybe even a couple days after that event, if you didn’t find a good deal. You know, very often there are deals and coupons and stuff. And I would say the best way to take advantage of that is to look at apps, you know, like there are a lot of apps with coupons that will tell you what you should and shouldn’t be buying. And yeah, I would say that’s definitely a great thing to take advantage of.

Katie Welsh [17:24]
Yeah, I go back and forth with black friday shopping. I don’t think that I’ve ever actually bought anything major on Black Friday, but I feel like Black Friday when I when we were younger, it really was like Black Friday. The deals were good for Black Friday. And now it’s rolled into you know, throughout the weekend, right? Yeah. Cyber Monday.

Denis O’Brien [17:48]
That’s exactly what I’m talking about.

Katie Welsh [17:49]
And then it kind of the deals kind of just spread out. Yeah, I would say if you are looking for Black Friday shopping, to me, it better be something that you have really wanted since like August. And you have been watching the price already. And you see the price fluctuate. You see all the different places that is being sold. Like say for example, you want a new TV, you’ve checked, BestBuy and you’ve checked Sam’s and you’ve checked Walmart and Target and everywhere else I could possibly sell a TV and then compare it on Black Friday. And honestly, if I was not getting like a significant deal on Black Friday, I don’t. I think I would wait.

Denis O’Brien [18:36]
Yeah. Kate I have to agree with you, you know, the thing is like, just because it’s black friday doesn’t mean you always going to find the exact thing that you want to buy. Uh huh. And that doesn’t mean you have to make a purchase, you know. And very often look, there might be other stuff that pops up that like catches your eye. But just bear in mind that you are compromising on what you originally wanted. And just question whether that’s going to bring you satisfaction and you know, like, one thing we always talk about as well is the 72 hour rule that we often apply right? So we will wait 72 hours if we really really really want to buy something you not allowed to just buy it you have to wait 72 hours. And in that time, it’ll give you enough time to weigh up whether you really need it. You know, because 72 hours all we do is talk about it. Yeah, we will we will go back and forth. Talking about it and whether it’s a good decision whether there’s other models or whether it’s a waste of money or whether we really need that thing. And sometimes we’ve talked ourselves out of big purchases.

Katie Welsh [19:41]
Yeah, we have, Den I just want to point like, point out while you are shopping, because for me part of the holidays is just the event of going out shopping. I love going Christmas shopping with my mom, we have a good time Christmas shopping together, you know, going shopping with the people that you care about, that’s part of the holiday season. And to just be mindful, yes, they’re going to be spending a little bit more. And, you know, I love finding the perfect gift for somebody I love getting that one gift that it’s like, Oh, I can’t wait to give it to them and you’re all excited. You’re probably more excited to give it to them than they are to get it. Is it worth spending the extra money on a gift like that? Definitely, in my opinion, right? Yes, yeah. But if it’s just like a,

Denis O’Brien [20:31]
like always pretty money because I have too.

Katie Welsh [20:32]
Gotta get ’em something and I don’t really know what to get ’em so I’m just gonna get ’em like a T shirt or something. I would be mindful on those kind of purchases because then that guilt feeling of I don’t have anything great for that person. So now I need to spend more. Yeah, I would. That’s where I try to be most mindful. Because whether you buy them 3 things or 30 things in the end, there’s gonna make a difference.

Denis O’Brien [21:5]
Yep. Katie, I totally agree with you. And you know, the thing is, like, you brought up a great point, and that’s, I don’t think you should ever get personal. You know, like, don’t really their you. Yeah, don’t think that you have to spend money on someone just because it’s the festive season, you know, don’t feel like oh, well, I have to spend at least $100 on so-and-so because they spend $100 on me, you know, like, it isn’t necessarily like that and people don’t know the value of things 99% of the time and not to say not that I’m saying you should be cheap with your gifts. But just bear in mind that very often the thought is worth a lot more than what the money is. So people want you to be there. People want to spend time with you. And really that’s the value for the holidays. It should be about being with family and friends and people that you care about. Not about how much money you’re dropping on on Susie.

Katie Welsh [22:4]
Yeah, and I think that’s a good point to to bring up and that is, you know, your time is valuable. And even if you don’t have a ton of money and you don’t want to get into debt, maybe you are, you know, crushing your student loan, or saving for your emergency emergency fund and you’re just like, thinking, Oh, I have to do all this Christmas shopping.

Denis O’Brien [22:26]
It’s going to set me back

Katie Welsh [22:28]
It’s going to set me back. I don’t want to get that credit card because that’s where I would be. I wouldn’t want to and I would. If you are feeling that way, don’t do it because then you’re just going to feel upset. Yeah. And it’s going to ruin the whole holiday season. To me live within your means. Even something handmade like if you are you’re totally if you’re a crafty person and you make me a present. That means 10 times more than something that you just went out and bought.

Denis O’Brien [23:1]
Yeah, Kate I totally agree. And I just want to touch on one last thing before we say goodbye and that’s have a budget and stick to it. You know, like literally pull out a pen and a piece of paper and say this year, I have $500 that I’m willing to spend on people and take whatever the money is that you’re comfortable with and divvy it up between everyone you got to buy for and some people you’ll spend more on some people you’ll spend less on and thats okay, that’s fine. You know but be accountable to yourself and realize that if you go and you blow your budget and you go over, that’s going to make you upset and that’s not going to make the person you gave a gift to upset and they probably don’t know the difference between whether you spent $50 or $40 on your gift they really don’t no you know, all they care is that they got something and that opening something and it was something thoughtful means a lot more to someone, then how much money you’re spending so live within your means. Keep track of how much money you’re spending and make sure that you can realistically afford it.

Katie Welsh [24:3]
Well, yeah, and because also this is the holiday season. Let’s not forget like we said earlier on in the show, you know after you know Halloween and you buy your Halloween costume and then Thanksgiving and you you know buy your turkey and all that and then Christmas comes and you do all your shopping and then if you are going out for New Year’s you’re going to spend an arm and a leg there on going out and probably a new something to wear. Yeah. And then you’re going to turn right around and it’s going to be, you know, somebody’s birthday or Valentine’s Day were you at least got to get somebody something usually. And it’s like the holidays never stopped. So just keep in mind when you are holiday or birthday shopping, to just be mindful and get something within your budget because you don’t want to be setting yourself back.

Denis O’Brien [24:59]
Yeah. And lastly, just before we say goodbye, a very quick reminder, that Chain of Wealth has changed to once a week. So we will chat to you guys next week on the next episode of Chain of Wealth.

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