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5 Strategies to Avoid Holiday Overspending

I have a confession. Well, a few actually. I love holidays, gift giving and am a recovering over spender! This can make for a bad combination that can lead to me ending up with holiday decor clutter I don't need and my credit cards stretched thin. Case in point. I just spent WAY, WAY, WAY more money that I planned to on Halloween this year. Yes, Halloween! First it was money for costumes. Then more candy than we ever pass out. Next it was $75 on pumpkins (before you judge me they were being sold as part of a fundraiser). And then decorations for the pumpkins and even more costume accessories. Ugh!

Even though we had fun decorating pumpkins and dressing up the funds spent for the experience were not in my budget. Now with Christmas less than two months away I am aware of how I am starting to feel a little stressed out about my holiday spending habits. Actually I have wanted to create a different Christmas experience when it comes to gift exchange with my family. But some habits and traditions are hard to change. However, to keep my sanity and do something more productive with my money I have decided to adopt a few strategies that will make the holidays less stressful, more enjoyable all without feeling like the Grinch.

Here they are:

COMMUNICATE YOUR WISHES. If you prefer not to receive gifts from your family and friends let them know NOW. Or if you would prefer to do a gift exchange with a predetermined value of the gift (like a $25 White Elephant exchange) then talk to them about doing that. Or maybe suggest homemade gifts and a family outing experience instead of spending money on gifts that may or may not be used or wanted.

MAKE A LIST. Make a list and check it twice....and stick to it. Include anyone who you choose to give a gift to including family, friends, clients, service providers. And if you decide the list only includes your immediate family that is okay and your choice. I think we get in trouble with holiday overspending because we think we should buy a gift for everyone we know. That's unrealistic.

CREATE A BUDGET. Decide on a total dollar amount that you want to spend on gifts. Then work within that. Or you can decide how much you want to spend per person and total that amount up and see if that number feels good and is doable.

BEWARE OF FOMO. What is FOMO? FOMO stands for Fear of Missing Out. I am a victim of #fomo. And my downfall is all the social media ads for gadgets that I think I have to have to make my life complete or would be a cool gift for someone. Instead of worrying about missing out on the latest kitchen gadget or the hottest toy, how about adopting a #JOMO attitude this holiday season. JOMO stands for JOY OF MISSING OUT. Imagine how much joy you can have hanging out watching a movie with your kiddos instead of reorganizing the kitchen cabinets to fit in another new gadget.

UNSUBSCRIBE. Now is a great time to take a few minutes and unsubscribe to the marketing emails that you receive daily and weekly from your favorite big box stores and other retailers. You can always subscribe again later...or not.

So, you have my permission to do things differently this year and in the future. Wishing you more EASE, JOY and PEACE and lots less STRESS.


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