Soon Comes the Cold, and the Night that Never Ends

By Alejandra Sada

November… what’s not to love about it? Between Thanksgiving, Black Friday and Day of the Dead, chances are everyone reading this is looking forward to something during the month, which brings me to the question, how are you planning to spend it (pun intended)? As Lady Melisandre from Game of Thrones enigmatically whispers, “For soon comes the cold, and the night that never ends”. 

Most of us have had the opportunity to celebrate the Day of the Dead, where we honor and remember those that have passed, and Thanksgiving, where together with friends and family through the sharing of food express gratitude for our blessings. November is all about recognizing the abundance in our lives and being abundant is really about staying present in our current state of mind. I love that both holidays involve eating home cooked meals. So that’s it, plain and simple: family, friends and food is all it takes to experience our abundance. 

You might be planning to increase your material abundance through a massive Black Friday spending spree. Sounds fun, but will you be able to keep your paper and plastic in check and survive the aftermath of your shopping frenzy? After all, winter is coming and the night will be full of Christmas trees and letters to Santa. So before you drain your bank account and max out your credit cards, keep some things in mind before going out on Black Friday. Hopefully these five tips will leave you content with your purchases and still financially abundant. For the night will be dark and long but does not have to be full of terrors! 

PAPER AS YOUR ONLY CURRENCY Leave all plastic and electronic forms of payment at home. No debit, credit cards or Apple Pay. Chances are stores will be offering incentives for using credit but that will only make you lose control of your spending. If you carry only paper bills you will have no choice but to stay within your budget. 

WHAT YOU WANT VS. WHAT YOUR NEED Wanting is not a bad thing. You don’t have to need everything you look to add to your life. Acknowledging that you do not need something but still want it just because it is your heart’s desire will help you stay present during your spending. So if you “want” something recognize you might not “need” it and evaluate if you’re okay with that. 

RECOGNIZE YOUR TRIGGERS Be it freebies, percentage symbols or your shopping partner’s buys, recognize what keeps you from shopping smart. Triggers touch certain psychological fibers that make you lose impulse control. So before going out acknowledge each and any of these that might induce anxiety, wanting to keep up and the fear of missing out. 

THE ONE IN – ONE OUT RULE For every thing that you buy commit yourself to getting rid of a similar previously owned item. Make it a rule. This way you will evaluate if you’re good with parting with and replacing your old possessions for something new while keeping your clutter in check and sharing with those in need. 

WOULD I RATHER? Ask yourself, would I rather be someplace else? People are going to be throwing parties and get togethers all over town. Maybe you would rather go Thanksgiving-Party-hopping instead of decimating your hard earned income. Consider even taking a family vacation as you read this. Spend the holiday out of town and surround yourself with new experiences instead of new possessions. Remember we are always at risk of being owned by the things we own. So why not rather be owned by new, warm and lovely memories and experiences? 

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