First, I hope you’re are all safe, happy & healthy…
Well, here we go! October is now upon us, and before you know it, so is the holiday season! While a happy time for most, the holidays can also be a source of stress for many, especially in regards to a person’s finances. Who’s going to buy all of the Halloween candy this year, or host that costume party get-together? How about the Thanksgiving turkey and all of those delicious sides? And then…woah! Gifts for family, friends & relatives in December? Already? It’s enough to drive anyone crazy! All of these things cost money, and that money doesn’t grow on trees! You may be asking yourself: “How am I going to come up with all of the money needed for these things”?
Believe me, your not alone! However, it’s important to rationalize this first before reacting. In this way, I’d like to recommend a few strategies that may be helpful to you during this process.
Strategy #1: ‘Don’t stress out’
Easier said than done, right? Consider this: if you think about what an unusual year it’s been for everyone, and how you have been forced to organize your lives in terms of what things are most important and what things are not, are the ‘financial’ costs associated with any of these things really that necessary to begin with? Let’s say this year, you skip the Halloween candy, you go to your Aunt’s house on Thanksgiving, and you don’t waste a ton of money buying someone an IPhone holiday gift that costs more than your monthly rent payment does. Do any of these things really matter in the long run? Obviously, no. The point is, as long as you are taking care of what’s most important right now, it makes no logical sense to stress over things that make no difference either way.
Strategy #2: ‘Prioritize’
What does this mean? It means that if you simply cannot forego everything, you should concentrate on that one holiday activity that is most important to you & your family, and make it the best that you can. Sometimes, we have to make choices, and we can’t have ‘everything’ that we want at the moment we want it. Maybe Thanksgiving is a very important holiday to you & your family. That’s great! Invest in Thanksgiving this year, and take a hiatus from the other holidays. In other words, make one choice, and focus your efforts on making that choice a successful one.
Strategy #3: ‘Set limits’
Ok, so you have chosen to focus on ‘holiday gift-giving’ this year. Great! How much will you spend on holiday gifts? How many people will you be buying for? What is your spending ‘limit’? Do you even have one? These questions may sound unnecessary to you, but they are very necessary to your financial well-being! What is the point of going on an all-out spending spree to make someone else happy for five minutes if doing so will make you miserable, stressed-out and heavily in debt for the next five months? Answer: There is no point to this! Again, what is the motto here? Namely, that you must impose some ‘limits’ within this process. Buying gifts for others is a very personal thing, so consider doing so only for those closest to you. Additionally, you can set a price limit on each person in this group that is both fair & equitable to everyone, and one that won’t break your bank! Be generous, but be smart, as well.
I hope these tips will help you as we all move into the holiday season together! I would very much like to hear from you as to if these strategies were helpful, as well as to if you have any other strategies that you can offer! Please feel free to respond to the this post; I look forward to hearing from you!