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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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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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