Tis the Season to be Jolly…. Bah Humbug! Are you looking forward to this holiday season? I know I am not…I used to love holidays, now I dislike them mainly because of the commercial aspect of it. I do love the spiritual side of it and what it means to be of service in the age of giving. There are so many people who are homeless this year. It hurts my heart that they don’t have a place to live and be free to celebrate in their own way. Do your best to give back to someone less fortunate than you. You will be surprised at how blessed you are.
Many of us are overwhelmed with trying to please family, friends and more. Now with so much going on in our daily lives, how do we have balance and not go into debt during this holiday season? Our rents and mortgages are extremely high, food prices have gone up and the kids are growing faster than a speeding bullet.
So, what can we do? I want to share with you five ways to prioritize during the holiday season! Here are few methods to get you through those holiday blues:
Step 1 – Pay all household bills first like Rent/Mortgage, telephone, utilities, and car & life insurance. Look for sales and start your shopping early like in July, (Back to School sales) August, and September (Labor Day sales).
Step 2 – Create a holiday budget. If you spent over $1500.00 last year, cut that in half and pick two items per child or person (get something they really want or need). Don’t spend excessively when you know you have bills to pay first. Bring in the New Year with a few dollars. Cha-ching $$$
Step 3 – Create a food budget, find fun new items to make with the family. Try baking holiday cookies or cupcakes. Do your home & holiday grocery shopping all in one. There are always plenty of sales on food during Thanksgiving week. Have your menu handy and focus on buying everything you need all at once. Tell your family and friends to bring a dish. Why should you be the only one cooking? Share the love.
Step 4 – Learn to shop at discount and department stores that have creative ideas for holiday decorations, games, toys and fun products. The following stores like Five Below, Marshalls, Dollar Tree, Family Dollar and Dollar General are shops that have 25% to 75% sale offers. They usually start before the holidays, like Christmas in July. Don’t forget the stuff you bought last year that’s up in the closet. Get the family to design their own Christmas stockings and buy stocking stuffers. You can spend less than $10.00 per stocking. You can find quality items for as low as a $1.00 to fill those stockings like nail polish, cute combs, candy bars, “Hot Wheels” cars, gloves, hats, and gift cards.
Step 5 – Organize a few weeks before. Set up your holiday table. Have fun with the family, play Christmas movies or music. Get creative, let the kids make holiday decorations. This is a fun way to keep the family together. Remember do not go broke trying to impress people in order to show them you love them by spending excessively.