Is your budget ready for holiday spending?
We all forget to add items to our budget. Here are a few I routinely forget. Consider this list, then ask yourself what you might be forgetting:
- Wrapping paper, ribbon, bows
- Stamps for Christmas cards
- Stocking stuffers
- New clothes for kids’ holiday performances
- Special meals
- Holiday celebrations
- A gift for that amazing neighbor who’s always there to lend a helping hand
- New Christmas tree lights to replace the ones died last year (that you forgot about until now)
- Extra giving for a family in need
What if you forgot to account for something? That happens to all of us. Try not to worry too much. The first thing to do is decide how critical the item is that you forgot. Chances are good it’s not all that necessary (even if it feels like it in the moment). What resources do you have at your disposal - other than money - to meet this need? Will last year’s outfit work just as well for your child’s Christmas program? Can you borrow something from a friend? I always forget about bows and ribbons, so in the past I’ve enlisted the help of my super-creative daughter to make our own décor for our presents. She has fun and it makes some pretty cool memories. For more ideas on holiday shopping, check out this previous article from my blog.
Whatever you do, don’t bust your December budget in order to fund the holiday season. You’ll regret that decision in January when you have to make up for your overspending and impulse buying. Hopefully you’ve weened yourself from the credit card cycle and don’t even have the option of financing something! If you haven’t taken that plunge yet, could this be the right time? Credit cards have been shown to increase our “willingness to buy” as well as how much we’re willing to spend on a particular item, compared to when we use cash to make a purchase*. Imagine yourself standing in a store looking at a new pair of very stylish winter boots that you absolutely must have. According to this study, if you are using a credit card to make this purchase you are more willing to buy the boots – and spend more for them – then is the person standing next to you, also eyeing the boots, but with cash in their pocket instead of a card.
Try an experiment yourself! Take cash only with you the next time you go shopping and notice if there’s any difference in how you feel and what you think when you go to make a purchase.
Book your holiday coaching session now! While you're at it, buy one for that friend who could use a little help getting started on achieving their dreams! Schedule a 15-minute call with me to learn more about coaching and whether or not it's the right fit for you.