This time of year we are often pulled by our emotions and veer off our intended course. Having a solid spending plan makes all the difference - and prevents a spending hang-over, or a credit card bill from surprising you in January.
What is a spending plan? Well - it is a map and a guide. You make one before you set out so you don't get lost.
Your PLAN could have the following categories:
Decorations - Tree, Candles, Wreaths, Lights, etc.
Holiday Meals & Entertainment - pay particular attention if you are hosting, or attending lots of parties where you will bring wine or gifts for the host
Gifts - Write down the names of the people you give gifts to
Santa (if it applies)
Pet Gifts (I know... but for some people this adds up :-)
End of Year Tips (housecleaner, hairdresser, doorman, etc.)
Next to these categories you will put an amount you plan to spend. The hardest part, and the part we often resist, is adding this up. But it is so incredibly valuable, particularly if you haven't done it before. You can course correct. You can make choices that won't leave you with regret in January. It just takes a little proactive planning.
If you find your funds not quite stretching to cover as much as you want to cover, consider ALL the possibilities! The possibilities could include: exploring creative solutions as well as lowering your expectations. As Erin Boyle states on her blog, "there’s no admission price to the holidays".
You can be in the spirit of giving without sacrificing your own financial wellbeing.
Perhaps this is the best gift you can give anyone you love: your financial wellbeing.