Happily Surviving The Holiday Season With No Debt
Here’s the thing, I don’t want to be in debt for the rest of my life. I don’t want to have to recover after the holidays after indulging in food, liquor, shopping, and couch potatoing around. I don’t want my energy to be drained to impress people.
So what is the solution?
I came up with a few… AKA I did some research and found advice from much wiser people that empowered me. Here’s what I found:
1 Communicate – Don’t want to host the holidays at your house or don’t have the resources? Verbalize it. Let your family members or friends know that you will not be able to host this year but can gladly bring a dish to someone else’s home. It’s like a ripping off a band-aid. It may hurt a little at first but it will feel 100% better when it is over.
– Stress levels will substantially decrease
– Your home should stay cleaner – however, make sure you help clean up the house of the host
– You get to leave the party when you want
– You will be able to save money on decorations/food and put that towards paying your debt
– Peace of mind
Here’s the inspirational quote I posted on my Pinterest last week. I hope it encourages you to communicate with others this holiday season.
2 Secret Santa – Instead of buying multiple presents that you are unsure people will like, encourage a Secret Santa. The presents are much more meaningful and allow you to focus on one person vs. a hundred other people. I loved doing this with my family last year. Everyone received something that they cherished.
– Feel amazing knowing that you gave someone a gift that they will love
– Receive a meaningful gifts
– Save time and energy shopping
– Save money to pay off your debt/bills
3 Gift Experiences – I’ve said this before and I will say it again. Things don’t bring happiness. Do you remember all the things you were gifted last Christmas or the year before? You probably don’t. Yet, I can always remember the gift of experiences.Gilovich explains:
Our experiences are a bigger part of ourselves than our material goods … You can really like your material stuff. You can even think that part of your identity is connected to those things, but nonetheless they remain separate from you. In contrast, your experiences really are part of you. We are the sum total of our experiences.
– Adds memories to someone’s life that they will not forget
– Increases joy
– Extremely thoughtful
4 Make Something – Has someone ever made something specifically for you? I have and it was the sweetest thing ever. I still remember it to this day. Marketing schemes have made us believe that what we create isn’t as good as the stuff they are selling. Do NOT believe the lies. Your DIY does not have to be perfect. The fact that you would spend the time to make something for someone else is a representation of what the holidays are truly about.
– They are one of a kind
– They are made with love
– You get to be creative
5 Family Activity – My family tends to sit around and eat all day, that is literally all we do. Now I love sitting and eating but I know that the next day I am going to regret it. This year I mapped out a short walk, packed some board games, a pump for bike tires, and a basketball. We only get to spend a few precious days with each other. As I stated before you remember experiences. I would be naive to think my entire family will be up for all the things I have planned but even if we do one of the activities I know that it will make the holidays memorable.
– An inexpensive way to have fun with the entire family
– Creates sweet memories
– It is harder to get upset at one another if there is an activity at task
– Physical activities release endorphins making everyone feel a little happier
6 Make a list – Stay on track by making a list of people and gifts that you would like to get them.
– You’ll have a plan and feel empowered
– You won’t spend on excess
– You will feel confident to know you didn’t miss something or someone
7 Shop Online – I don’t know about you but the Target Effect gets me at every store – I go in for one item and leave with way too many. Instead this holiday seasons I am shopping online and sticking to my list. I use Ebates before I check out to get cashback. I also use a really hand dandy tool called Honey. It saves me time by applying coupons it has found to my check out. I even go to the extent of shopping for my groceries online. I believe most Walmarts have that option. You can place your order online and park in the designated area for “online pickup”.
– Avoid the jam-packed stores
– Little stress involved if any at all
– End up saving because you stick to what you came for
– Quality purchases
8 Unsubscribe – It’s not just you, advertisements follow you everywhere. It is no wonder we feel overwhelmed and like we NEED more stuff. This holiday season do yourself a favor and unsubscribe from all store emails. Don’t worry about missing out on coupons – simply use the tool, Honey, I mentioned earlier before checkout. Don’t want to manually unsubscribe to all your emails? Use unroll.me – it is a free unsubscribe service that saves you so much time!
– Avoid buying things you didn’t even know you needed
– Helps you stay on track
– You will not feel like you are missing out because you don’t even know what sales you’re “missing out” on
– You will only purchase things that you know you need
9 Unfollow – It’s very important to unfollow brands on social media. They are about to market harder than they have all year long. They are spending a huge portion of their marketing budget right now to get you to shop (believe me I know since my full-time job is a Marketing Manager). The same goes for social media influencers. You will start to see more and more ads. Unfollow brands and people who make you feel like what you have is not good enough.
– Peace of mind
– You will start to think and focus on more important things
– You will spend your energy on things that bring you joy
– The fewer people you follow the less you have to scroll for updates
– Saves you time
– Makes you feel good
– Get control of your feed
10 Budget – I left the B word for last. There is nothing that makes you feel more like an adult than creating a budget and sticking to it. I used to HATE budgeting with a passion but now I feel empowered. I know how much money I have and how much money I am going to spend. For those of you who have no idea where to start, I highly suggest using Mint. It is literally the only financial website I use and the best part is that it is free.
– You will be back in control of your money, not the other way around
– Confident in knowing you will have enough money to make the purchases you wanted
– Feel good knowing that you will still be able to pay your bills
Remember ladies, you have buying power. You ultimately can decide on what business you support. They need you, you don’t need them. Do your research this holiday season. Lastly, don’t forget what the holiday season is all about. Big businesses have morphed it into something so materialistic. You don’t need to keep up with the Jones. Hug the ones you love. Jesus is the reason for the season. Be compassionate with yourself and the ones around you.
Until next time – love others,