Many years ago, before I reformed my shopaholic ways, I would spend hundreds of thousands of dollars each Christmas on gifts, decorations, parties, cards, outfits, booze, food, ribbons and wrappings, tickets to the Boston Pops concert and more.
I spent a lot of money on my daughter. I was divorced, and so I used money as a way to make up for breaking up our family. I felt guilty and that guilt, among other things, motivated my spending.
To give you an idea of what I’m talking about, every single present you can see (and the ones you can’t see) under this tree was for my daughter.
Christmas Circa 2000
When the credit card statements would start rolling in, I’d feel guilty, desperate and like a complete failure because I had once again lost control of my spending, overspent and overcharged.
I didn’t live on a budget. Heck, I didn’t even know what a budget entailed. I lived above my means – way above my means, and I didn’t fully understand what I was doing to myself, and the detrimental consequences of my actions. So, budgeting for the holidays wasn’t even on my radar.
The first Christmas when that all changed was the year I was facing foreclosure on my home.
It was 2002, and I had to tell my daughter I couldn’t afford to buy her any Christmas gifts. Just as vivid was that Christmas morning was opening up the most beautiful coat she had purchased for me and the feeling of unworthiness I felt at her generous offering.
I knew at that moment that I needed to face my money issues head on, or it would be the end of my financial security.
And that’s what I did.
I read as many books as I could get my hands on to help me figure out what the hell my problem with money was all about.
What I read was eye opening but it put me on a different path than I had ever been on before.
WHY YOU NEED TO START BUDGETING FOR THE HOLIDAYS NOW
If you can relate in any way to my story you know first hand how stressful the holidays can be. When you either overspend with little regard to the consequences and then face those consequences come January it can be you’ve been run over by a bulldozer.
The answer lies in your ability to be willing….
Although I didn’t want to look at all the ways I sabotaged myself with money, how messed up my belief systems were around money, and how poorly I handled money, I was willing.
My being willing to look at my money issues became quite liberating. Because in that moment of saying, “yes, I am willing to look at this and figure it out” I became completely energized, motivated, and powerful. It was like I did a one-eighty.
I was a woman standing in my power to money, and I hadn’t done that in a long time. What I came to realize was the more I was willing to go deeper and deeper, to peel back the layers of my money bullshit, the greater the transformation was.
So, here’s the question. Are you willing to look at your relationship with money?
Are you willing to peel back the layers to see what motivates you to spend like crazy during the holidays?
Are you willing to do something different this year so that when January comes you’re not flooded with guilt and shame because your debt is cranked up to a ridiculous level?
The answer is either yes or no — not maybe, not probably, not possibly, not let me think about it. You must decide if you are willing or not.
YOUR HOLIDAY PLAN
The start of the holiday shopping season is only eight weeks away and I want you to have a head start.
Halloween hasn’t even happened yet but some stores are already displaying Christmas decorations. I don’t know about you, but the Christmas Seasons seems to start earlier and earlier each year. And, with the early arrival usually comes the pressure to begin thinking about gift giving.
Think about this: Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Years are three major holidays that occur within a 32-day span of each other.
You may be thinking, “The leaves have barely begun to turn color so why think about holiday gift giving and holiday expenses?”
I will tell you from experience; it really is smarter to start earlier than to wait for the last minute holiday rush.
By planning now, you can take advantage of deals that will save you tons of money in the long run.
Additionally, the more you plan the less stress you will have; it’s as simple as that!
By starting early you’ll save money, be better prepared and have a holiday season that’s just about stress-free.
HOW TO BEGIN
From now until Christmas watch for regular weekly articles all about how to get a head start on budgeting for the holidays so you can save money this holiday season.
I’ll cover everything you can possibly think of to have as uncomplicated and easy Christmas without spending a fortune or breaking the bank.
To get started download my Thanksgiving Planner and get a head start!