Holiday spending has always been a struggle for me.
Financial me says, “But they don't need that!” while emotional me says, “But they will remember this gift for the rest of their life!”
How can you serve both your financial and emotional needs this holiday season?
Here's what's worked for me:
Make a conscious choice
Ballpark your holiday spending or don't. A budget and holiday spending don't usually work well together. There's always one more gift you forgot about or that friend that got you a gift and you weren't planning to get them a gift but now they got you one so… yeah.
Try ball-parking instead of budgeting your holiday spending. Is it $2k? $5k? Get a general sense and use it as your guide.
Know thyself! You’ll blow through any ballpark figure if you have no intention of sticking to it. If that’s the case, don't waste your time, do what works for you, and deal with the ramifications when that January credit card statement rolls in.
Figure out where those extra funds are coming from
Got it in savings? Great. Put those funds in a separate online savings account and call it “Holiday Expenses.”
Do your mental accounting now. You'll have a better idea of where you stand ahead of time. And when you know these numbers, you can also recognize how they make you feel.
Make the changes you need to feel good
Ran your numbers and feeling good? Awesome. Get out of here – go enjoy your holidays.
Not feeling so great? Let’s do something about it right now. What's your first inclination? Spend less? Set aside more? Perhaps a combination of the two? There’s not a right or wrong answer here – just the one that makes you feel good.
Now is your chance to be proactive and fix the glitch rather than deal with the aftermath of your overspending post holidays.
Be present and enjoy your holidays
You’ve put in the work upfront and now you get to enjoy the fruits of your labor. So fill up that wine glass, try not to rage when assembling that bike or Barbie dream house, and remind Uncle Phil that cryptocurrency probably isn’t best for his retirement funds.
After all, isn't that what the holiday season is really all about?
Wishing you all a very happy holiday season – from my family to yours.
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