Say No to the Pressure of Holiday Shopping

Many Americans think peer pressure only affects children but it affects adults too. Child peer pressure is more obvious but adult peer pressure can be subtle. Many adults may not even realize they have been victims of peer pressure. Many adults find themselves pressured into a lifestyle that requires them to give their family more and buy things they can’t really afford. This behavior results in financial disaster.

Many adults have succumbed to financial peer pressure from family, co-workers, friends and their children especially during the holidays that can wreak havoc on their lives and cause them to ruin their credit, go into debt, spend more than they earn and even result in filing for bankruptcy.

Statistics show that 70% of Americans are living paycheck to paycheck and 96% of Americans retire or die broke. Avoid trying to keep up with everyone else, stop trying to compete with others and don’t be jealous or envious of someone else’s success or financial prosperity.

The saying birds of a feather flock together is true. The people you surround yourself with are a reflection of you. When you surround yourself with people who succumb to peer pressure, live a materialistic lifestyle, seek acceptance or approval and lack self-esteem you are acting in a weak state of mind. This type of behavior is toxic and leads to unhappiness, anxiety, depression, health issues and negative financial habits. Here are 15 ways to deal with adult peer pressure regarding shopping during the holiday season.


Learn how to say no. Don’t buy gifts if you can’t afford it. Explain that buying gifts is not in your budget right now.


Look at the character of the person who is pressuring you and notice if their finances are out of whack, or if they are unhappy with their life – misery loves company.


Recognize the peer pressure in your family, co-workers and social circles.

Firm. Be firm in your decisions about not buying gifts or set a spending limit and stick to it.

Defend. Don’t feel like you have to explain, justify or defend your position regarding buying gifts, you don’t.


Tell those pressuring you to buy gifts that you would appreciate it if they could be supportive and accept the decisions you make in your life.


Offer to walk a friend, neighbor or relative’s dog; watch their dog when they are on vacation, pick up their mail or perform errands. You can also do volunteer work and take your family or friends.


Offer to fix something in someone’s home or if you are good at putting things together, put together a stand or computer.  If you know how to repair a car offer to give a free oil change, put air in tires or change brakes. You can also offer to babysit, clean their garage or home.


Make your own decorations or shop online to find inexpensive decorations. Buy plastic flowers instead of fresh flowers that can be reused. Pack and store decorations carefully to reuse next year. Reuse decorations from the previous year.


If you sew you can make clothes and give as gifts. If you know how to quilt or crochet you can make pillows, quilts, blankets, sweaters, socks and more and give as gifts.


If you know how to make jewelry you can away give as gifts. Make your own. You can make lots of stuff such as: gloves, pottery, candles, candle holders and give as gifts.


Visit the dollar store to look for children’s gifts. If you have to buy gifts for several family members suggest a “Secret Santa” so only one person has to buy a gift for one person and set a limit on the amount spent.