Today my goal is to set up my fall holiday decorations. I think today I will put on a little music just for ambiance. Christmas music that is.
This weekend I was at a local craft store and they already had their Halloween decorations on clearance to make room for Christmas decoration. Crazy, but I guess it is a good time to put those lights on the house.
With the holiday anticipation and excitement also comes stress. Stress about family get togethers, setting out all the decorations and most of all, money. Financial stress can be one of the hardest issues to tackle. But with a little ORGANIZING, STRATEGIZING and FINANCIAL PLANNING you can ease your stress level this season.
Create a list now of those people you WANT to exchange gifts with. Go ahead and make the list as long as you like. Now circle the people you WANT to exchange with. The ones you can't wait to find the perfect thing for. Not the ones you feel obligated to exchange with. Put the other names on a separate list.
For the first list (the ones you want to exchange with), think about a a price range for each person. Now add up that total using the highest price points. You may need to adjust either your exchange list or your price points at this time or consider making something for them. Do the same for your other list and add up your totals. Add in any wrapping paper, supplies, last minute gifts and shipping costs.
This is your spending plan. Does this look overwhelming? Seeing everything on paper gives a clearer picture of what our mental goals are. Often we do not realize the scope of our plans until we see it on paper.
As you review your gift list and spending plan, remember to think about gifts that you might be able to buy in multiples. What about notecards or thank you cards? Maybe even a few stamps to go with them? If you have coworkers, can you bring in a shared gift? Breakfast treats? Gourmet coffee or tea? What about some fresh fruit after the beginning of the year when everyone is starting their new eating routines?
Consider what you can make, bake or do. So you have a special talent? Sew, knit or cook? Personally I can hardly wait to make my Grandma's Finnish cardamom coffee bread to give as gifts. Again, with a little planning, you can start early and have the time to do some gifts by hand.
Were you surprised to see how fast that spending plan grew? Are you wondering how are you going to reach that goal? Simple. Organize, Strategize and Plan. Put this list in an envelope in a place where you will find it.
STRESS FREE HOlDAY:
Ø Each week add a specific amount of money to your envelope. Maybe the amount is the budget divided by weeks until December. Keep track of what comes in and what goes out.
Ø As you begin to accumulate gifts for each person(s), store them all in the same location. Maybe a storage bin in the basement or garage.
Ø Write the gift that you are going to exchange next to the person you are giving it to. Note where you have this gift located.
Delight in the fact that you have a plan and are already started on a financial lower stress holiday season.
Welcome to my blog. I am glad you are here to read the musings on organizing and finding balance in your life. I hope you find them inspiring and motivating.