By Nancy A. Pritchard, Life Mastery Consultant
The Not So Big Christmas – Day 6
Protect Your Precious Resources – Your Money
Most of us are painfully aware that as society we carry a fair amount of debt. Spending more than we’re able every December for gifts, decorations, and other items promising to bring Christmas ‘cheer’ will never bring us true joy.
Well it might temporarily, until the inevitable credit card statements arrive on January 2. Yikes!
Consider these ideas – ‘Just for this year!’
*Set a realistic holiday budget. Decide on a total amount you feel comfortable spending this season. Consider the usual items – decorations, parties, clothing, food, gifts, travel, etc. Challenge yourself to find creative ways to stay within your budget. (Keep following this blog series for some low- or no-cost ideas!)
*Be proactive. Let the people that matter to you know that you’ve set a budget (you don’t have to share the amount) for this Christmas season. Tell them that you plan to enjoy the holidays to the fullest and that you’ve decided to put some restrictions into place, so you may not be able to ‘do it all’ as you have in the past. (Then you get to choose to do the activities that mean the most to you.)
*Christmas is for children. Decide to spend the majority of your gift budget on the kids. Most adults will understand this (and probably be relieved by it!) and be willing to skip the grown up gift exchanges this year.
*Embrace the gift of ‘no gifts’ for adults. My closest friends and I enjoy a yearly Christmas lunch together. We decided years ago not to exchange holiday gifts with each other. No gift exchange means no shopping for hours for that ‘perfect’ something, no buying things we can’t afford and don’t need, no wrapping, no bags and no ribbons. We spend about two hours at a restaurant (yes, we tip well) just appreciating our friendship – a lovely meal, a glass of wine, and an afternoon of sharing. I can’t stress how much I look forward to and enjoy this tradition.
*Invest once in re-usable holiday items. I love artificial Christmas decorations. No, they don’t have that natural pine smell, but they can be used year after year after year, with no recurring cost!
Speaking of reusing, I have a minimalist friend who owns one great black party dress. She’s worn it for formal holiday occasions for years and with just a change of jacket or scarf, it looks like a completely different outfit.