This post discusses two topics 1) Gratitude 2) Budgeting for the Holidays. If you’ve come here from the podcast looking for the free holiday budget you can download it using the download button below.
Here’s a quick 3 minute video on how to use the budget.
What is It?
I define gratitude as an intense appreciation for what one has, a recognition of value.
Gratitude is past focused, appreciating what we already have. Wants are future focused, we desire things we don’t yet have. Gratitude comes from an abundance mindset while wants are usually based on a scarcity mindset.
These are not all of the benefits, there are many.
1) Improves your physical health.
2) Improves mental health.
3) Improves your self esteem.
4) Easier to stay on budget – you are grateful for what you already have. You don’t believe that you “need” something to make you happy.
How Can We Be More Grateful
1) Stop and recognize and appreciate the things you already have.
2) Write down two or three things each day that you appreciate
3) Subtraction Method – Imagine what life would be like for all the different things in your life. What would be like if you didn’t have a home, a car, a job, your children or anything else.
Budgeting for the Holidays
The holidays can be stressful financially. But we can reduce or eliminate this stress by answering two questions 1) How much am I going to spend 2) How will I pay for it?
How Much Will You Spend
Answering this question will prevent you from asking each day, what do I need to buy today. Go download my free holiday budget at the beginning of this post.
List all the holiday items you need to buy. First start with the gifts. This would be for each child, spouse, friend, family member, etc. Don’t forget to include the wrapping and shipping.
If you don’t know what you are going to be buying for each person assign a dollar amount you will be spending on them. If you know what you are getting them list that along with the price.
Next list all the “home” items you might purchase. Decorations, meals, parties etc.
List all the extra activities you may need to pay for. Concerts, shows, travel, charitable contribution etc.
Once you have this list you’ll now know what you will be buying and how much it will cost. You’re half way there.
How Will You Pay For It?
The next step is to determine how you will pay for everything. Most people turn to one of three sources:
1) Monthly Income
2) Savings Account
3) Credit Cards
I realize credit cards carry a stigma with them and I try and steer my clients away from them, but if you are going to use them you might as well recognize it now and stop feeling guilty about it. Maybe you pay for 1/2 the holidays out of savings and the rest with your credit card.
You now know how you are going to pay for it which eliminates the stress of not knows. You also don’t have to beat yourself up each time you use your card. Again, if you can cut costs and not use them that is ideal, but if you are going to use it regardless, you might as do it without guilt and shame.
Now that you’ve created the budget and decide how much you’ll spend all you have to do is track you spending and stay within your budget.