So how many of you ventured out on Black Friday or spent some online hours on Cyber Monday?
I was happy to do a little shopping so far, mostly on Friday — happy because I was able to do it right in my town (not many crowds here up against the foothills), happy to be able to do it with Superman (a rare adventure for us, really, to shop together!), happy to include lunch in the process, and especially happy to do it in flip-flops. (Black Friday in flip-flops … yup, that’s the ticket … )
I was also happy to have my little “Christmas fund” to shop with. You know, I’ve made a lot of stupid financial decisions in my life, but one thing I did that I’m actually really happy about was setting up a “Christmas fund” years and years ago. I think I was still at The Register — it must have been the mid-90s — and the company allowed us to divert our direct deposit into any variety of accounts. Someone at the bank told us about their “Christmas account,” so I decided to try that. I put something like $25 into it at the time (per check, per week, per month — you could do whatever you wanted). It was money I didn’t miss at all on a per-check basis, but I have to tell you — by the time December rolled around, the bank handed us a little “Christmas theme” bank card, and it created a nice little sum of cash to use for Christmas! The bank doesn’t automatically do the cards anymore, but we still do the account. We simply upped the amount as our family grew over the years. It’s so nice to just get cash out in the last week of November, and not have to worry that it’s money that needs to be spent somewhere else, or not have to worry about using credit cards.
So … never, ever come to me for financial advice, but the Christmas account is one thing I can advise without reservation! : )
So tell me about your shopping adventures so far — do you do all your shopping online, or venture out to brick-and-mortars? Do you have any great secrets to share like the Christmas fund?