7 Ways to Stick to Your Budget this Holiday Season
‘Tis the season to get in debt. Black Friday, Cyber Monday, spend two hundred dollars I don’t have Tuesday! Commercialism is persuasive and strong shouting, “If you love someone, your credit card bill must show it!” But is getting (further) into debt really the best way to celebrate holiday cheer? We think not! Read on & you might just agree.
Truth be told, I “get it!” It’s hard to FEEL you have less in the season of abundance/ mass consumerism. But the truth is by following your budget when it’s the hardest, you will be leaps and bounds ahead of those trying to “catch up” on their bills in January. Budgeting through the holidays is like working out or eating a salad, it’s really about your own habits & come January, you won’t have to go on a diet just to ‘get back to normal’!
Get Out of Debt Tip! Let all your friends and family know you’re doing a ‘no gifts Christmas / holiday season this year. Or suggest “Dollar Store” or “Thrift Store” ONLY gift swaps!
Stick to Your Budget
The numbers don’t lie, and KNOWING your numbers is half the battle! It might seem scary at first but as you master your budget through self control and understanding yourself, you’re going to LOVE watching your money GROW! So… START (somewhere / anywhere!) & then STICK WITH IT!
Budgeting shows you where your money goes. If you gave yourself $200 for gifts & $100 for Christmas dinner then so be it! Get creative & enjoy the process. There are hundreds of thousands of amazing gorgeous blogs out there showing you how to DIY and decorate for pennies & dollars!
Get Out of Debt Tip! Don’t wait until January, start searching the internet for the vast communities of like minded souls looking to get out of debt, save money or FIRE (financial independence retire early) communities! Finding FRIENDS who share your sentiments is even more powerful then budget hacks alone!
Give Yourself a Holiday Allowance.
Budgeting doesn’t mean NO FUN or NO CELEBRATING! No way!!!! Who can live like that?!??? When making your budgets, PLAN for the holidays and celebrations! Throw an extra $50, $100 or whatever you’ve got into your Holiday allowance! You’d be surprised how many great items you can find at the dollar store, thrift shops or foraged for in your neighborhood. A simple can of gold or silver glitter spray paint can turn any old item into beautiful holiday decor!
Get Out of Debt Tip! The Holidays means seasonal hiring! Sign up for a weekend shift with your best friend at your favorite store or local tree lot. Laugh together and deposit all those extra checks directly towards your debt!
One of the BEST things about the Holidays is the plethora of FREE activities! Tree lighting ceremonies, parades, local choirs and churches putting on gorgeous holiday concerts; a little Google-ing will reveal a long list including the best streets for holiday lights! Pack a couple of hot cocoas & cookies in a mug and go explore all the free festivities in your town! It’s great to get out and will make you appreciate nights snuggled up warm at home!
Get Out of Debt Tip! Make a calendar of all the free activities for your family to enjoy. Set up a hot cocoa stand on the busiest streets or sign up to be a hot cocoa vendor at community events!
Celebrate with Your Presence
Instead of getting or giving gifts this year, focus on activities instead! Throw an easy peasy tree decorating party at your home or a holiday movie night! Volunteer as a group at your local shelter or cook a holiday meal together! You won’t remember which I-phone you got 3 years from now but you will remember the holiday traditions of watching the Nutcracker in your jammies each December. A little glitter and gold is nice but a twinkle light filled night of love and memories is a thousand times better!
Get Out of Debt Tip! If you’re tempted to spend or need extra incentive to get your family on board, volunteer at your local soup kitchen on homeless shelter! Not only is a a humbling experience to help practice your gratitude but it’s also a bonus ‘together’ activity that can open the conversation to giving instead of receiving. Soup kitchens booked? Pick up a $10 puzzle from Amazon! Puzzles make amazing and inexpensive family gifts & activities!
Recycle Your Favorites from Last Year
Every Year, I pull out my Holiday box and remember how much I LOVE all the stuff I bought last year! My mini white flocked tree with silver balls, the twinkle lights, our family socks and the little white gingerbread men! I love love love reusing all my favorites from last year! It’s also the time of year to dig out my favorite glittery eyeshadows, fluffy sweaters and glittery shirts that have found their way to the bottom of the closet & make up bag. Pull out all your holiday favorites and put them on display! Hang those gorgeous sparkly earrings where you’ll see them and put your gold glitter eyeliner on the top of your make up bag. If you’re anything like me, you’ve forgotten all about them which will make them seem brand new!
Get Out of Debt Tip! Too many wreaths and ugly sweaters taking up space? Host a Holiday decor garage sale or sell your items to consignment! Get quick cash for items you don’t use and a reminder why charging to your credit card can be a giant waste of money. Have a car payment that’s killing you? Sell it, downsize to something more economical and wrap it up with a big red bow!
Focus on What Really Matters
Yes, the holidays are about love, peace, spending time with those you love and celebrating your success for the year, but don’t forget all the other goals you’ve been working so hard towards! Whether it’s paying off those student loans, knocking off your credit card debt, saving up for a hard earned vacation, your first home or your first investment property… REMEMBER WHAT REALLY MATTERS! You! Your health! Your prosperity & Your Goals! You got this babe!
Get Out of Debt Tip! Celebrate your yearly accomplishments this holiday season! Find a 5 or 6 pretty boxes from the dollar store and write yourself long gratitude notes of accomplishments for the big things you achieved this year or the hard things you’re working on! Spend time on those notes and wrap them up for yourself under the tree! Celebrating your successes on Christmas morning will make your yearly truly magical and your resolve twice as bad-ass for 2019!
What are your tips and tricks for staying out of debt & on budget this holiday season?