Remember, the purpose of budgeting is to control your spending. If you don't control your spending, your spending will control you!
Hold yourself accountable. Face yourself in the mirror. Look into your eyes. Make a firm commitment to yourself that you are going to create a budget and stick to it. Repeat the following:
“I love you, and I’m going to make a firm commitment to myself and create a holiday spending budget that is well within my financial means, and I’m going to stick to this budget.”
Repeat as many times as necessary until you really feel it.
If you haven't done so in the recent past - VOLUNTEER , even if only for a couple hours. Is there a hospital, school or shelter close to you that needs your help? Maybe a women’s shelter, homeless shelter, or animal shelter?
Volunteering reminds us of the true spirit of giving – and what giving is REALLY all about. It also demonstrates that there are many more people making their way with much, much less. Maybe this can influence your budget as it relates to gift giving and how much you spend on other people.
Here is a simple, one-page template. Plug-in your numbers and modify until it's right for you .
You can download this Holiday Spending Budget template (direct from Microsoft), save it onto your computer and create your own personal Holiday Spending Budget. Link below:
Make sure to include a line-item in your budget as a "self-reward incentive" for sticking to (or being under) your budget!
The holiday season is behind you. Go back to the mirror. Look yourself in the eyes again and tell yourself how proud you are of yourself for creating and sticking to your holiday budget! You made a commitment to yourself and stuck to it! Way to go!
And, REWARD YOURSELF! Use your budgeted self-reward incentive dollar amount and treat yourself to something wonderful!
Continue with the good practice of creating monthly budgets in the new year. You can use the same Holiday Spending spreadsheet and change a few categories to include mortgage, rent, utilities, insurance, etc...
And this includes continuing to reward yourself when you successfully stick to your budget.