Along with the festive mood that jingle bells on silent nights bring is a financial challenge.Wouldn’t it be nice if you can fill your shopping carts and still get a good night’s sleep minus running bills in your head? Possible? Yes. The holiday season may be the best time to recalculate resources because of year-end bonuses and incentives. You can be fully equipped to breeze through the holidays debt-free by having a proper mindset, a definite plan, and will power.
Money Mindset and Financial Mapping
A proper money mindset is identifying what you’ve got and giving value to it. When money is seen as a tool to use in satisfying needs, having a “things to buy” list does not become the end goal. It becomes one of the essential phases in financial mapping. Financial mapping is similar to visualizing money as it travels to you and from you. You get a realistic picture of your income,your expenses, and savings. From there, you can fine-tune your spending list so that resources are sustained, and savings do not get deflated while expenses balloon up. Doing so assures you of good night’s sleep even after the holidays.
Determine the Holiday Budget
After identifying your income, it is time to scrutinize your expenses. These can be one of the three – fixed (expenses that automatically deduct your income regularly), periodic (those billed at periodic intervals), and the variable (expenses that can be adjusted). Holiday budget falls under variable expenses. What is good about variable expenses is that it is under your control and not the other way around. It is best to identify a specific holiday budget vis-à-vis your income. Allocation is key.
Categorize Holiday Expenses
Aside from budget-wise holiday gifts, there are home decors, travel and vacation, gift wrapping and cards, and charity contribution to allocate your set holiday budget. At this point,your value judgment for your own and your gift receiver’s preferences now interplay with your budget. When deciding gets tough, go back to your money mindset (realistic view of your income and giving value to it). Visualize again how money travels to you and from you. Is buying your end goal?
Remember that financial mapping has phases and that its goal is to give you a good night’s sleep beyond the holiday season.
Have a Shopping Regulation Scheme
Write things down. Put it where you can see it. Your set holiday budget, categorized holiday expenses, and its allotted budget – keep these in mind. Write it on paper, save on your mobile,clip it on the fridge door, or any way that works for you. If using a credit card defeats you, then opt for a debit card loaded with just the exact amount set.
Execute and Sustain
The last ingredient to consistent good night’s sleep during and after the holidays is to execute and sustain your budgeting action plan. Link with someone you can be accountable to. Money and material things are tools and must not direct us. We are meant to steward it, and good stewards plan, execute, sustain, and enjoy a good night’s sleep.