We all know that although the holidays are a joyful time, they can actually bring great stress in our lives. We often struggle to enjoy the season because of expectations and pressures we put upon ourselves.

Many of us overspend, then greet January with an emotional and spending hangover. Take heart! My MoneyMinder® Holiday Planner can help you create a holiday season that is balanced and financially sane. Below, I’ll share a part of my powerful process.

For years the holidays left me with an emotional and financial hangover.

If you can relate, I’d like to share the process that turned this around for me. The first step to making this holiday season better than previous ones is to examine what worked and what didn’t work with previous seasons. Would you like to do that? It’s not always easy, but let’s give it a try.

Here’s an example. I remember when my children were young that I used to love to buy them lots of presents…even if I couldn’t afford it. I’d start my shopping early when the department stores first started playing the Christmas music and decorating. (Have you noticed that they start this earlier and earlier these days?) I would continue to shop throughout the holiday season, sometimes forgetting how many presents I had already purchased. January, when the credit card bills came, was not a pleasant experience.

Yet, when I look back to what my daughters loved the most, more than their gifts, it was the simplest things like Mom not being stressed, family time with games, and just spending time together.

What did I learn from this?

  1. Planning what I would spend and then doing my best to stick to it. With all the decisions about what to buy for everyone on my list, it was a relief to know one of the main decisions (how much to spend) was already made. And if I decided to spend a little extra, I could see the consequences ahead of time and make an informed decision based on facts, not feelings.
  2. Remembering that it was the time I spent with my children, like baking cookies, that they loved even more than a new toy. Any time I get a little overwhelmed by my growing holiday to-do list, it’s this simple fact that keeps me grounded, sane, and present to enjoy this special time.

So now, each year in November, my husband and I sit down for an afternoon and complete each step in my MoneyMinder® Holiday Planner. Doing this helps me stay in touch with the holiday season that we as a family want to have: balanced, within our means, and stress-free.

Download your copy of my MoneyMinder® Holiday Planner to get the complete guide to a stress-free holiday season.

November 29th, 2017 by Karen McCall