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A Holiday Spending Plan

‘Tis the season of gift giving, no matter your tradition…

It is so much fun to give - particularly when we find just the right gift for someone we love.  

One of the best strategies to stay financially grounded during the holidays is to create a holiday spending plan… aka, a spending roadmap.


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.

 

It isn’t as fancy as it sounds - if you have never made one before. It is simply a list of categories you are likely to spend on. With the amount you plan to spend beside it.

Total it up to ensure you will have the funds to cover all that you are planning. Don’t panic if it is more than you realized… you haven’t spent the money yet, and there is time to course-correct. If debt has been an issue in past years,...

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Simple + Sweet Gift Giving

Tis the season of giving gifts, no matter your tradition.  I am not sure if it is just my own evolution, or if there is a collective shift towards simplifying this aspect of the holiday season. I do know that it is refreshing.

Spending money on gifts made me extremely anxious years ago, in part because we didn't have much to spend, but more importantly because there was no plan and it felt out of control - for years now we have approached things from a completely different perspective.  I am relaxed, intentional, and enjoy giving gifts like this little boy in this ad from the UK.

You see, a little goes a really long way.  It is the spirit of the gift, more than the amount spent.

I love giving gifts that are some combination of utility + luxury. The everyday essentials kicked up a few notches - a daily reminder to enjoy the little things just a bit more, to find beauty in daily living.  This is an experience of wealth that can come well before you have millions in...

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The 'Spending' Part of your Holiday

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
Wrapping Supplies
Santa (if it applies)
Pet Gifts (I know... but for some people this adds up :-)
Charitable Giving
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,...

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Exploring "Enough"....

It is mid-December.  We are entering the very height and frenzy of the season - shopping, errands, parties, performances, and celebrations (oh my!).  

"More" and "extra" - more food (and eating...), more shopping (and buying), more running around (less downtime), more, more, and more becomes the constant mood and reality we find ourselves in.

"Finding your center" is something I discuss often with my clients.  Because without tethering to our own anchor, we are easily - and readily - swept into the swirl.  

In this swirl we are particularly susceptible to doubt - "Are there enough presents to give the kids?" "Do we have enough money?" "Do we have enough time to fit in .... (fill in the blank)?" 

It is particularly daunting for parents. The line between what it means to love and be generous gets blurry.  There is an overwhelming emotional desire to create a magical holiday - no matter the cost.  Often there is an unconscious pressure...

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Mindful Giving

Even if you have planned, made lists, and started shopping for your loved ones already, there comes a moment during the whirlwind and heightened emotions of the holiday season when we find ourselves making impulsive, reactive, and unconscious spending choices. We are often swept up in the mood, and hectic pace of the season and can easily loose our bearings.

To help ground you and ensure that you are making mindful choices, run the following assessment when considering the purchase of a gift. If the questions cannot be answered on the spot, it is important to pause, put the item on hold, possibly leave the store, and give yourself the time – and space – to come to a decision that feels right. You haven’t said no yet, you are simply exploring a new process of mindful spending!

Assessing a mindful GIFT

GENEROUS - Is this gift Generous in spirit? Thoughtful giving is a true art. The amount spent does not reflect your generosity by itself.

INTENTION...

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