For many people, the holiday season is a mad rush of spending too much time, too much energy, and too much money. We start the holidays with dread and end them in debt – and it’s no wonder: for months, we are bombarded with advertisements and peer pressure to buy more, spend more, and do more.

What happened to connecting with people we love? Celebrating the joy of being alive? The simple pleasures of giving? At the Financial Recovery Institute, we’ve helped thousands of clients break their holiday over-spending habit, and I’ve learned that the best way to do it is by making a solid plan. Having a plan for the holidays means understanding your history, being clear about your expectations, and coming up with a balanced approach to spending your time, your energy and your money.

In my Holiday planner, (which is yours for free- please download it on the right side of my homepage at : I walk you through the ten steps you need to create your own holiday spending guide using the MoneyMinder® Holiday E-book and Planner. We’ll start by examining your holiday spending history. We’ll imagine what the perfect holiday might look and feel like from both a financial and an emotional viewpoint. Finally, we’ll plan out how you’re going to achieve the goal of having a more balanced, meaningful, and debt-free holiday.

The steps are actually quite simple to follow. In each one, I’ll explain exactly what you need to do. The hard part is coming face-to-face with how you’ve spent your resources in the past, and taking a hard look at what you need to do to achieve balance this time around. Money can be a highly emotional topic for many people, and you may find it a bit uncomfortable.

Of course, when you remember that you’re giving yourself the precious gift of peace-of-mind, as well as a debt-free January, the difficulty of the exercises become a great deal easier.

So let’s get started planning out the happiest holidays you’ve ever had! My holiday e-book and holiday spending plan are yours for free, as my gift to you. Simply download from the right side of my home page at

December 13th, 2011 by Karen McCall