How stressed are you right now? Be honest. Take a deep breath and relax your shoulders. Unclench your jaw and take another deep breath. Why is it that the time of year when there's supposed to be the most joy and happiness, we are filled with dread and anticipation. Stress but also...eh no, mostly stress.
Some of it has to do with deadlines (school or work deadlines) and traveling madness. But a big majority is definitely because of money. We want to be able to get everyone we love the best gifts BUT the best gifts (sometimes) cost a lot of money. You feel like your to-do list is forever long.
You have to pay for airplane tickets and all the expenses that go with traveling - parking, hotel, rental car...it adds up quick. Before you know it, it's January 1st and you didn't even feel like you got to enjoy the holidays. You already miss your family and your credit cards are maxed out. Your New Years' resolution of "getting better with my money" seems like the steepest hill to climb and uber overwhelming that you quit before you even start.
I know right now the LAST thing you want to think about is NEXT Christmas, but take the pain and stress you’re feeling now to motivate you to set yourself up for an amazing Holiday Season 2020!
So just imagine it's December 2020 and you're booking plane tickets, buying gifts, and baking cookies stress fee! "IMPOSSIBLE!" oh but it's not. You're able to buy gifts your family will love and you don't feel guilty because you're not adding to your pile of credit card debt.
It is possible. & it's so easy to believe it's possible because tons of people are doing it this year, including me! "If they can do it, I can do it." Once you believe something is possible, you can accomplish it for yourself (read all about that HERE).
Let me tell you, the stress of having all my Christmas expenses covered by cash from a savings account has lifted such a weight off my shoulders. I feel happier and freer to give (I'm not saying this to be holier than thou, I just want you to know that it's possible). We all WANT to give. Giving lights us up and brings us so much joy - so why would we take that away from ourselves?! We feel the most stress because WE WANT TO GIVE BUT CAN'T or we do give but it doesn't feel good because we know we are putting ourselves into a worse financial situation.
But it's also important to know that just because you've saved money to cover expenses for the holidays doesn't mean you can go crazy and stop keeping track of your money. You will still need to make sure you don't spend more than you have saved, this is where you may want to jot down a "Holiday Priority List" and spend on what you actually want to spend on.
"This sounds too easy." I mean it kinda is. It just takes a little tiny bit of planning up front but it will be so worth it!
Write down everything you have spent so far for the holidays. Then keep adding to that list every time you spend on gifts, travel, or miscellaneous holiday expenses.
At the end of the holiday season (after January 1), add up all your expenses and divide by 11 months.
For example, let's say you spent $955 which includes flights, gifts, and a few miscellaneous items. Now divided $955 by 11 months and you get $87.
Read my article The Secret to Actually Saving Money and set up an automatic plan to save $87 a month until November.
I dunno about you, but I CANNOT WAIT for your 2020 Holiday season - nothing but joy and easy breathing.
But don't rush through or forget about this Christmas. Enjoy it. You're with family and that's all that really matters. Talk about the journey you're on and how you are trying to spend less money - they may be upset/skeptical/negative at the beginning but in the long run, they'll be proud of you.
& Merry Christmas to my favorite Blissed-out Dollar Bills readers!
P.S. You can now join my 1:1 Money Coaching Program! Learn more.