How To Survive The Holidays Financially
It’s the most wonderful time of the year…or is it?
Are you weighed down by the pressure and busyness of the season? Do you feel obligated to spend and give beyond your means?
Don’t. The holidays come every year, and so do January bills.
Here are some recommendations to make this holiday season better, more enjoyable, and less financially stressful than the last:
Don’t spend more money on the holidays than you can afford.
They come every year. It’s not a surprise, so plan for it. If you don’t have cash for that special gift, it’s tempting to pull out a credit card and defer payment until after the first of the year. Don’t allow your New Year to be filled with financial worry; shop wisely and learn to exercise restraint!
Give something of lasting value.
If you have small children, it’s easy to spend a ton on things you’ll likely find at the bottom of the toy box in January. Talk with your kids about this issue. Set expectations, if they’re old enough to understand, and let them know that you would rather pay the same amount of money for something they will enjoy for a longer period of time.
Do something meaningful for someone else.
With a little thought, you can give meaningful presents that don’t cost anything but your time. Do a good deed for a neighbor, a shut-in, or a relative. It could be something as simple as fixing a meal, raking leaves, or cleaning out the gutters. Make it a family project. Put together “service coupon books” that can be redeemed when needed.
Focus on spiritual, not material, issues.
Take intentional steps to counteract the commercialism of the holidays. Do something creative with your family that emphasizes the spiritual significance of your celebrations. Meditate on the writings that tell the story of the season. Talk about why you want to have a different kind of holiday than the world wants you to have.
Give something to yourself.
We’re not talking about an impulse gift. Instead, do yourself a favor by making a commitment to do something in the following year like paying off debt, starting an emergency fund, or learning how to live within your means.
This is the cheapest recommendation of all. Look for opportunities to spend meaningful time together. In the process, you’ll be doing more than stockpiling family memories — you’ll be building a legacy for generations to come.
Have a tip for surviving the holidays financially? We’d love to hear from you on our Facebook Page.
Call us at 954-888-4680; we look forward to helping you meet your financial goals in 2015.
Wishing you and your family a safe, happy holiday season!