When did the holidays become so stressful and so darn expensive? I feel like they are extra expensive and stressful this year because we are trying to overcompensate for the “new normal” of 2020.
If you follow me then you KNOW I play by my own rules! My newest best-selling book: Time to Refine, a Strong Woman’s Guide to Retiring on Her Own Terms says it all: LIVE ON YOUR OWN TERMS. So let’s apply it to the holidays, even if they are a little different this year.
First, let’s build out our plan of action! Write down all the items you need to buy for the holidays such as all the ingredients, liquor, decorations, shipping things to family and such for Thanksgiving dinner. Next to each item, write down the price amount and add it all up. Is it scary to see it all in one place? The numbers never lie, so take it in and let’s start prioritizing where to spend. What are your top 3 priorities that you want to indulge in this holiday season? Getting clarity over your priorities will help keep you focused and to stay away from the sparkly distractions of the holidays! When you don’t do this exercise, you get stuck doing a mental account of all your regular bills, plus the extra holiday expenses. Next thing you know, you are stressed the entire time trying to remember if you have enough money in your bank account for it.
Helpful Tip: You can set up a separate bank account for all of the holiday spending, this will keep you accountable to what you can spend versus overspending. Then next year, you can save into this bank account every month so it isn’t so much of a burden come holiday season 2020!
Second, you don’t have to do it all! I no longer want or care to do it all by myself. Here’s my first challenge, instead of declining help when offered, say YES! Yes, you can pick up the decorations. Yes, you can make a dish. Yes, you can send flowers. Yes, you certainly can pick up the wine! Yes, you can totally help with the cleanup and dishes! It doesn’t matter if your spouse’s stuffing isn’t quite right and smells a little funny, it doesn’t have to be perfect and that is what gravy is for! You may even find that people **gasp** may do certain things better than you…I know I have!
Helpful Tip: Pace yourself! Shopping early is great, but make sure you keep track of what you are buying! It’s so easy to click buy now, or click a link for a great sale, but if you aren’t tracking what you buy you end up spending so much more money! Overbuying and overspending are a real issue at the holidays, especially if you shop too early and don’t keep track of your purchases!
My challenge for you is to pocket the money you would have spent on all the dishes people are bringing to you. On the dishes you normally would have made yourself, but decided to let people help with this year. Transfer that money into a different bank account and keep a tally going of how much accumulates because you are welcoming and embracing the help!
Helpful Tip: For every dollar spent on the holidays, can you save a % of it such as 10% or 20%? Or for every purchase you would have made but didn’t, reward yourself with a savings boost! Set aside the money you would have spent into your bank account. This will make holiday spending more like a game, the more you spend, the more you will have to save. Grab a friend and do it together for some extra accountability!
The holidays are stressful enough, especially this year! Money shouldn’t be an added stress to the holidays. Think of money as a game, get excited over what you can spend and save. In the end, we all should be grateful to have money to spend on a delicious meal, amazing family, and fun friends! If you need help navigating the Holiday Madness, download our Holiday Budget Cheat Sheet.
Hope you have a wonderful Thanksgiving! Don’t forget to add some #pinkfix to your holiday cheer!