Holiday Planning and Perspective
Develop a budget — Decide how much you can afford to spend for gifts, travel, entertaining, shipping, etc. Aim to spend no more than 1.5 to 2 percent of your annual gross income ($750 to $1,000 if you earn $50,000).
Make a list — Identify everyone to whom you’ll give gifts. Divide your gift budget among them.
Research prices — Follow merchants on Twitter and Facebook to learn about deals. Subscribe to Entertainment’s® Daily Deal email or Groupon email for hot savings. Review newspaper circulars, television ads, store mailers, and store websites. Watch for free shipping promotions for online purchases.
Track spending — Keep a running total of purchases so you don’t lose track and overspend. Consider only using cash – you’ll be glad in January.
Give non-cash gifts — Gift a service, such as gardening or home-baked desserts, to relatives who don’t need any “stuff.” These personal touches may mean more than material goods to some of our loved ones.
Consider gift cards — After-holiday clearance sales are plentiful. Gift recipients will get more for your money.
As you’re out and about this holiday season, be sure to keep your perspective – these “11 Great Things Money Can’t Buy” reminders will help you:
1. Spending time with friends, new or old.
2. Laughing so hard your side hurts.
3. No lines at the supermarket. (Try shopping very early in the morning!)
4. A good conversation.
5. Finding money in your coat from last winter.
6. Knowing that somebody misses you.
7. Waking up and realizing you still have a couple of hours left to sleep.
8. Accidentally hearing someone say something nice about you.
9. Running into an old friend and realizing that some things (good or bad) never change.
10. Getting a hug from someone you care about.
11. Knowing that you’ve done the right thing, no matter what other people think.
Take the time you need to enjoy this magical season. Our Revive facilitator, Donna Marie, M.A. has some wonderful tips and resources for stress management. Visit her web site at www.DealwithStressToday.com.