🦃Giving thanks to money🦃

Hi friends!

Welcome to Better Have My Money, my Monday night newsletter about money, investing and feelings.

If you’re in the US, this is a tough week to have to work and continue going about daily life when it’s clear everyone is in full blown holiday mode.

It’s Thanksgiving week meaning it’s Black Friday week and then it’s Cyber Monday and Travel Tuesday and look basically it’s just like weeks straight of insane retail sales.

Plus, thanks to winter hitting, I’ve already bought new gloves and new jeans and new socks and other bits and pieces lately. That plus holiday travel — I spent the weekend in DC, flying to LA for Thanksgiving and heading to Australia for Christmas! — mean I’ve been hitting up my credit card, hard.

And now the bonkers sales are about to begin.

I love buying dumb shit as much as the next person but it’s SO easy to get caught in the whirlwind of a sale and find yourself being like “wow yes I definitely need this highly discounted item that I’ve never seen or thought about before and would not buy if its sale price had been its original price but DAMN 90% OFF, it’d be CRAZY for me NOT to buy it.”

So this year I”m trying to plan ahead.

I’ve got a few things I’d like — one of those alarm clocks that wake you up using light like the sun! A new doona and doona cover! Those heeled Blundstones! A handheld blender for soups! Fancy exercise classes!

Honestly even writing them down makes me realize how much I don’t actually need any of those things. Which, helpful! (I might still buy some exercise classes).

So here’s my tips for getting through the sales: write down the things you’re wanting to buy, in advance. Maybe run them by someone else (I suggest your most judgmental friend. If that’s me, I am happy to hear you out and make your question yourself). Stop and think about if you need to throw your money away on this crap.

But think about the one (or three) things you really, really want to buy and make the sales work for you. Search out the specific items — brands, colors, sizes, prices etc — in advance, so you’re not just browsing through thousands of items trying to just see what’s interesting when the sales begin.

The only thing I actually genuinely need (OK, want, but like need more than I need a alarm that mimics sunrise) is a new extra warm winter coat.

I’ve got the one in mind already. I went and tried it on in store to make sure I knew the right size and colour. I’ve signed up for the email alerts from Aritizia and as soon as it drops, I’ll buy it online and try not to look at any other of the cute crap also for sale in the store.

Because I want to use the Black Friday sales as an opportunity to save money — not an opportunity to spend it. I don’t want to dip into my emergency fund or blow out my credit card just as Christmas is about to hit.

But also sometimes splurging is glorious. I’d already decided not to go back home to Australia for Christmas because flights between NYC and Melbourne are usually in the $2000-2500 range ($3000+ with Qantas, my preferred airline!).

Last week, Qantas had a 100th birthday sale for 100 hours. I quickly checked dates and noticed a flight arriving on Christmas morning for $1000 return. That… is not normal. I called mum and bought the flight within 5 minutes of seeing it, even though it was midnight and I was already in bed.

When it’s an amazing deal, you pounce. But you can pounce much better if you already know what is a good deal. So having some savings up your sleeve for good quality purchases is worth it.

Plus, I feel confident that plane tickets to Australia aren’t a purchase that would arrive in the wrong size, be unavailable in the bigger size, and actually looked much better on the model.

Since I’m about to head to California and plan to hike and enjoy the sunshine and nature, this week’s charity is the the California Community Foundation's Wildlife Relief Fund.

Reply and tell me the one thing you’re going to buy these sales!

I give thanks for you,

Amber Jamieson

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