Thanksgiving has come and gone and the holiday season is now underway. During this time of year many people have a tendency to overspend, exceeding what they can reasonably afford.
Many times we get caught up in the festivities of the season and have a great time buying gifts, entertaining, visiting family and friends and end up starting the new year with credit card debt that we aren’t prepared to face.
You may be underestimating how much money you are spending during the holidays because there are extra costs and incidentals that you don’t spend any other time of year – the favorite cookies, cakes, candy, that special meal or activity you engage in.
Marketing is also in in full swing – displays, commercials and advertisements, all geared to sell you on the newest, greatest item to put on your list or to buy for your loved ones.
This can be a time of year when expectations run high and emotions are ramped up and if you if you aren’t aware and prepared, you can get caught up in the energy of the season and end up spending a lot more than you intended to.
1. S-Spending Patterns - take a look at what you’ve spent in past years. This can be an eye opening exercise and give you a realistic estimate of what to expect this year.
2. M - Make a holiday spending plan – List the main categories of spending and set limits for what you’ll spend this year.
3. A - Adopt a Cash Only Policy - Give your credit cards a Holiday! Once you create your spending plan and set your spending limits, adopt a cash only policy. Make a decision to purchase items using only cash or debit cards. Decide on a percentage of your total spending or a total amount that you will purchase with cash.
4. R - Reduce your Spending - Find ways to cut down on spending
5. T – Tell Your Family and Friends - make sure you clearly communicate with your family and friends. If you are used to participating in gift exchanges and you’ve decided to make changes in your level of spending, let your family and friends know so that you aren’t pressured into making last minute, impulse purchases that you haven’t planned for.
Comment below on how You will choose to Create an Attitude of Gratitude!
Coach Estelle is the coach to call if you are ready to eliminate your limiting beliefs, get into action and Achieve Your Financial Dreams! With over 35 years as CPA working in Finance, Purchasing and Management she has worked with individuals and companies ranging in size from small privately owned businesses to Fortune 500 companies in various industries.
In addition, with over 15 years as a Church Leader and Holistic Financial and Business Coach, she has worked with individuals, churches and organizations to: