Well, we crossed that invisible line this week. That line that divides The Holidays from The Rest of the Year. November begins the season of spending. We have Thanksgiving which means, perhaps, travel for us and our family or inbound travelers staying with us. What it means regardless is more money spent on these seasonal things like trips and extra food and more wine. That is quickly followed by the gift-giving season. It all amounts to budget-busters unless you stop, take a breath, and make a plan.
Here is your quick and easy template to stay on top of your spending so that you enter 2017 large and in-charge of your checkbook!
|Why Am I Spending?||Comments||Last Year I Spent||This Year I Plan to Spend|
|Holiday Cards (and postage)|
|Gifts: (list each person)|
Fill this out (excel would be best so that it can do the math for you) and consider what you did last year, how much that cost, and what you are planning for this year.
Consider the enjoyment that you get from this. If you love it and consider it priceless, then you are doing the right thing to allocate funds toward it. If you are anything less than ecstatic, think about what you could do instead. If you hate traveling to a relative’s house, could you have them come to you instead? Could you put in a plan to alternate going forward?
Gifts are important so I encourage you to be mindful about who, what, and how much. Can you give something that is very thoughtful, very personal, and inexpensive? What talents do you have that others would love to experience? Yes, this takes time to think and plan and create AND that’s why you are going through this exercise now….
You are in charge of your wallet, your plans, your gift-giving, and your holiday experience. Start now and make sure that you can afford the plan, that the plan lines up with what is truly important for you to experience this holiday season, and that you come out the other side without a big, fat credit card bill!
To your financial (and holiday) success,