Wednesday, October 07, 2009

Systematic Spending

Systematic Spending

A Girl’s Guide to Surviving the Season in Style

From a very early age we learn all what it feels like to receive a gift, and we like it. Whether it is a birthday, Valentine’s Day, Christmas or Hanukah, there is nothing quite like the guilty pleasure of getting something for free. Unfortunately, as we grow, we learn that, at some point, someone needs to pay for those gifts. Around the holidays there is nothing quite like spoiling a friend or loved one, but nobody is made of money and the endless gift buying, let’s face it, can drain your funds.

Maybe Scrooge was onto something. Nowadays, the holidays can seem more like one giant expense than ‘the most wonderful time of the year.’ Not to mention, the combination of shopping for others as well as outfitting yourself with enough getups for all those holiday events is nothing short of a your Visa bill’s worst nightmare. What if I told you there was a way to survive these holiday humps and still have some room left over for style, would you read on?

Now as much as we still like to get into the spirit of giving we can’t forget about the spirit of style come this holiday season. After all, even Santa makes sure to don a snappy suit in loo of the holiday season despite providing gifts for all. One shouldn’t have to stress about getting caught in the same cocktail dress twice. Really, the question is: How do I budget?

First and foremost, like any future plans in life, we must set goals that are defined by realistic outlines and limitations. For example, I have X amount of dollars to spend this holiday season and Y amount of people to purchase gifts for. Now, because foregoing the LBD in French Connection or the faux fur at H&M is not an option we need to figure out how much we can afford to spend on ourselves.

So, multiply 15% by X to get Z (Z = the amount of money you are allowed to spend on yourself). Now, subtract Z from X and divide Y by Z to get W (W = the amount of money you should spend on the gifts needed for others). I know this may be confusing but once you figure out the math it really is quiet simple.

Here’s an example budget. I have $500 to spend and 10 people to buys for.

Now I divide 500 by .15 and I get 75. I now have $75 to spend on myself (Yahoo!). The remainder, 425, divided by 10 leaves me $42.50 to spend on those 10 people.

Obviously, if Z represents thousands of dollars then immediately stop reading this article and head right over to Holt Renfrew on Bloor and indulge in the finest of Toronto fashion. However, for the others not to fret because we shall find some steals so scandalous they seem worthy of a lump of coal in your stocking.

So, go on and spend your ‘Z,’ whatever dollar amount it may be. At least this way you didn’t blow through your savings and have still added a little holiday cheer to your wardrobe. And because advice is always free, sequence tops, lace, leather, or fur are four ways that can ring in the holiday and New Year at multiple price points with great style. Happy shopping and receiving.

No comments: