How will I survive the holidays?

Sometimes it is hard to believe how fast time flies!  It really did just seem like we rang in the New Year last week!  Now it is time to celebrate the holidays!  If Christmas has crept up on you, have no fear.  You can survive and enter 2011 with no new debt!  Let me tell you how. Just remember three things this holiday and you will have a successful time enjoying family without the guilt of a holiday spending hangover!

First, make a plan!  If you don’t know who you are buying for you will buy for too many.  Basically you will spend more if you fail to write out what you truly desire to do.  Put together a gift list.  This should include recipient’s name, gift idea, and amount you will spend on each.  Decide which events you will attend and if you are baking goods, bringing a gift, or dressing up.  Also, think about the decorations for your home.  Do you need to spruce things up a bit?  Personally, I love to shop for these items December 26th when everything is 75% off.  Don’t forget Christmas cards, pictures, and postage.  Once you have a plan be sure to add up your potential expenses.  This is the one step many people miss.  It only works for you if you add up the total amount needed.

Next, use cash!  I can’t stress the power of cash enough!  It helps you focus on only the items on your list while reminding you of your limits.  Christmas is an emotional holiday and we want to bless those we love.  However, it doesn’t have to put you into a financial coma in January! 

Finally, just say NO!  It really is ok to say no to parties and gift giving that we don’t need to participate in.   We can’t do everything and buy for everyone.  This is especially true if you are working your debt reduction plan.  Now may not be the time to splurge on the latest and greatest for your kids.  It is not the time to buy a whole new wardrobe the day after Thanksgiving.  Stay focused on your goal.  Remember the true meaning why we celebrate Christmas.  And believe that God will add His super to what you do in the natural.

Stop the madness, buy only what you can afford, and bring in the New Year with a smile instead of a frown!  Keep these three things in mind during the holiday season and you will survive successfully!