How to Enjoy a Debt-Free Holiday
The holidays are just around the corner, but if you are like me, I think the holidays start at the end of November, as some companies hold their staff Christmas Party and I get into the festive mood - but that’s just me :) As much as these festivities bring us joy, they can also bring us stress. This is particularly true when it comes to the financial side of things. However, do not lose hope that this will be another draining year on your pocketbook. In fact, with a little planning, there are a few ways you can make sure your holidays are stress and credit-free.
Manage Your Expectations
Why increase your credit card debt? If you are someone that wants your holidays to be energizing and provide that feeling of togetherness, gifts, decorations, the whole nine yards, that will definitely put a dent in your pocketbook….think simplicity. Given the year we have all had, there has been enough stress, so why add more? Plan to just be with loved ones, sip on tea or coffee and have some fresh baked cookies or a simple home-cooked meal - this I believe will be more meaningful than ever. Spend less, but create more, gifts can never replace a hug and a smile - yes, maybe we cannot do the hugging, but a smile goes a long way. At the end of the holiday season, you will feel “light” as you have not spent a lot of money, but were still able to have a wonderful time.
Determine Your Holiday Goals -- Together
Plan together and share in the joy and the cost. No matter how simple we plan, of course there will always be spending involved, so take the burden off yourself and share the cost with family and friends. Everyone has been affected by COVID-19 in one way or another - plan together, be together and share the cost together.
Create a Budget
Once you have done the planning as to whose house and who is bringing what, creating a budget is a must to ensure everything stays inline. With a little planning, you can go a long way to creating a credit-free holiday. Making a list of things you will need, from groceries to yes even some decorations (do not go overboard-stay simple and beautiful) will help keep everyone on target and stick to the budget! Take advantage of online planners and budgeting tools.
Early planning can make all the difference when it comes to the holidays. Keep an eye out for sale items. Once you are done with this year and you see how well the planning and sharing and budgeting went off, you will want to follow the same thinking again for next year and this time you will have a whole year to plan, yes, that's right for 2021! Starting early will help reduce stress, give you more opportunities to scoop up incredible deals throughout the year, and spread your budget even farther!
Some of us try to do everything on our own, that includes myself, but sometimes accepting help is a very good thing. The holidays and well, to be honest, all year long we should be able to rely on the people around us to be there when we need them...so accept the help and enjoy the time spent even while cooking or baking or grocery shopping -celebrate together! There are many incredible ways to reduce stress and help get others involved so that the holiday is perfect for everyone.