The festive season is meant to be a lovely time of year, but for a lot of people it can be a difficult time because of expectations, and the reality of relationships, past hurts, loneliness and tight budgets.
So... over the next 6 weeks, I'm going to be sharing with you, a very special series of blog/how to's, focusing on Preparing for the Silly Season, that I developed for Leichhardt Women's Community Centre, who have also kindly permitted me to share.
What you'll be receiving on a week by week basis, are not only tips that will help you survive the silly season, but a lifetime!
First up in our series we're looking at money.
Christmas can be expensive for a lot of people, but there is a way you can 'rein' (get it?!!) in your spending... You could create a spending plan and avoid the stress, anxiety, relationship problems and other unpleasant consequences that can set in after the festive season as a result of festive generosity.
By creating a spending plan you’ll make space in your mind to enjoy your other Silly Season activities, not to mention prevent many negative after effects.
Follow these tips to help curb your spending:
1. Figure out what your pressures are that normally make you overspend – eg media, society, keeping up with other people.
2. Find ways to combat those pressures – eg accept and be OK with your personal financial limitations (you don’t have to be like the Joneses); challenge your thinking/beliefs about needing to spend more than you can afford eg “I don’t have to spend a lot of money to show my love and appreciation for Marilyn...”
3. Find affordable alternatives: eg baking shortbread; make packets of chai tea; arrange a Kris Kringle with friends and family...
4. Resist the urges to spend by reminding yourself of the positives for not over-spending, and negatives of over-spending.
Then...Create your personalised spending plan:
Figure out how much you can afford (you may wish to include a reasonable credit plan here – if you decide to use your credit card)
Don’t forget to include all the extra costs for social activities that you might be doing over the season and take into account if you're not earning the same amount of money as you normally would.
Consider how much will you spend on each person/gift
Come up with a plan for when/how long it will take to pay off your debt (if you have decided to use credit)
Write it down and put it on your fridge
Stick to it!
Good luck with it! There’s nothing better than a stress-free mind – knowing that you have your spending under control and sorted :)😎