The holidays are fast approaching! Although they happen every year at about the same time, we find ourselves hitting panic mode right around Thanksgiving. We brace ourselves for the onslaught of expectations that will occur as soon as we eat the last bite of our pumpkin pie!
By the time Christmas or Hanukah arrives, we can find ourselves exhausted. After shopping, wrapping gifts, and preparing special meals, we can struggle to feel festive. Add the looming bills that may be arriving in January and we end up with overwhelm. Not so merry, right?
Instead of just surviving this season, here are some tips to help you thrive so that you can have a sense of calm, being present and experiencing memorable moments with your family:
- Stay organized!
- Think about how many holiday cards you will be mailing and buy the postage you need before you are ready to send them out.
- When decorating, purge whatever you’re not using. This will make the process of “undecorating” easier.
- Set a deadline to be done with shopping, as early in December as possible.
- The gift list:
- After making your list, and checking it twice, go back and create a list of what items you are going to purchase online and another list of the gifts you will be buying in person. Review your estimated costs and your budget for the gifts!
- Dedicate one day for in-person holiday shopping ONLY! No groceries, personal items or errands are be on your agenda-just gifts for others!
- Dedicate one day for online shopping-again, gifts for others only!
- To stay on track with your budget:
- For your in-person shopping day, purchase a VISA gift card with your limit being your budgeted amount for these gifts. This will help you resist the temptation to overspend
- For sites like Amazon, purchase your own gift card to keep your spending to your budgeted amount. These two steps will eliminate those dreaded bills from starting your New Year in debt!
- If you are planning to entertain during this time of year, consider a potluck meal where you provide the main dish and ask your guests to bring the rest. Everyone loves to share their favorite holiday recipes!
My final piece of advice is crucial: Stop buying into the commercialism! If you were dropped here from another planet and were learning about how we celebrate holidays, you would think that your house would need to be decorated perfectly, that families smiled the whole day and that we all received every gift we asked for! FALSE!!
Have realistic expectations, and strive to thrive so that you can make the holidays more about creating memorable experiences – ones that will you will cherish for many years to come!
My goal is to help my clients thrive with their finances all year long! It’s a big part of my “why” in being a Financial Coach. If you are ready to make 2019 the year that you thrive with your money, I am ready to support you!