Keeping the Holiday Cheer!!
I am always shocked at how quickly time passes. I feel like it was just January and now, here we are putting up the holiday decorations. Here at the Lowell house, we are decorating the tree and hanging our stockings. While the holidays are a time for merriment, it is also a time when we have a lot of extra expenses. I find that this is the time most clients will break their budgets and indulge in something extravagant. I wanted to give you some tips that I find useful for keeping me on budget and out of debt during this time
Santa has Rudolph to guide him, you have a budget.
Hopefully, when you created your yearly budget for 2019, one of your line item expenses was Christmas and you have been steadily putting money away for your purchases. Even if you don’t have a “Christmas Club” savings account and will be using your savings or monthly surplus, it’s extremely important that you set up a spending limit. Look at your finances and determine what amount you have disposable in your accounts and the maximum you are going to spend. Next, establish a budget for the holiday season. Consider not just presents, but all expenses you will have during this time. Think about any travel, charitable donations, Christmas funds and clothing for those holiday parties. Once you have made your budget, it is important to track your expenses and remember to stay on target. I recommend writing out your shopping list and assigning an amount per item or category. Keep this list on you as you shop and scratch it out when you complete the purchase.
Naughty or Nice List!!!
I firmly believe that Santa and Mrs. Claus created the infamous Naughty and Nice list not as a way of controlling misbehavior but was a way of controlling their budget. Now, I know Santa has a work shop and his gifts are all made in house but the cost of materials and labor must add up when you are gifting something to every child in the world! Weeding out one’s gift list is crucial at times to staying with in your budget. I know from personal experience that we find our gift list growing each year. Our families grow, we make new friends and before we know it, our list has grown exponentially. I personally believe in trimming down your list and using this time to assess those in our lives. Have those relationships changed in recent months or years and has the time has come to put people on the proverbial “Naughty List”?
Also, not every single person on your list needs to get some outrageous store-bought gift. I happen to be married to a great man who happens to be a great baker. A few years back he created his own hot chocolate blend and made his own marshmallows, we packaged it in mason jars tied with Christmas ribbon and instructions. This gift was given to most of our gifts list that year and it was a huge hit. Everyone loved that it was such a personal gift and I think it was more appreciated than the gift we bought. Lastly, keep in mind that the most precious gift you can give someone is your time. There are many family members, especially the older ones, who would love to come over for dinner or just have you take them out to run errands. When we were dating, my now husband would treat his family to brunch for the Holidays. Everyone would dress up, eat up and spend some family time before the chaos of the holidays was upon them.
Remember that you can still be it merry and bright!
One of the things that I love most about this time of year is entertaining. Unfortunately, having a big party like Kris Jenner is not something most of us can do but that does not mean we can’t party like a tipsy elf! I love having parties that are recipe exchanges. A pot luck cocktail party where everyone brings a dish and bottle of wine or a cookie exchange for the littles ones will make for a great time with minimal expense. Also, consider planning a volunteer event. Gather your group together and volunteer at local charity then head for drinks at your local bar. Everyone will feel great about spending time together and help those in need and you still get to enjoy each other’s company.
I hope that all of you have a great holiday season surround by family and friends. I can’t believe that only a year ago I started Empowered Worth. The feedback from all of you has been tremendous and the best gift of the season for me. Next year, we will be growing even more with the release of the Spanish versions of my book and website. We have many new things on the horizon and will be sharing them soon. I will also be speaking and exhibiting throughout the country next year so please follow us on social media (Facebook, Instagram and Twitter) and www.empoweredworth.com.
Happy Holidays and remember you are all worthy!
Founder and President