Now that we are past Halloween and into the month of November, two things are upon us. 1.) The year is almost over. 2.) The holiday season is coming up. I, like many people, enjoy this time of the year. I can get the chance to reconnect with friends and family, take some time off work, eat some delicious food (pumpkin pie is my favorite), and celebrate the birth of Christ and reconnect with my faith. As a financial coach, I also know that this time of the year can do a number on our finances. To combat that and instead make this year’s holidays memorable ones, will you join me and take part of the 2012 Holiday Challenge? The Challenge is simply a list of three things to do this Holiday season:
The #1 reason why finances get ruined during this time of the year is not having a plan. Because we don’t have a plan, we get caught up in the marketing frenzy and spend like there is no tomorrow. When that happens you are stuck with paying the bill through next April and wonder why you can never get ahead. Don’t take this the wrong way; I want you to spend money during the holiday, but only money you have! So why not make a budget this season (if you haven’t done so already), don’t use debt, and remember that you aren’t defined by your stuff.
Focus on what’s really important
I don’t know about you, but for me the holidays are a great time to reconnect with friends and family that I don’t get to see very often. When I talk about reconnecting, I don’t mean over Facebook or email, but real human interaction with people you care about. So why don’t you call that friend you’ve been meaning to get in touch with and set up a time to do coffee when you are both home? Or call that relative who lives 3 states away and get caught up with what is going on with them. What about your faith? Faith plays a big role in Thanksgiving and Christmas so why not spend some time to focus on the religious aspects of the season? Food and things are nice this time of the year, but remember to focus on what’s really important to you.
Set your goals for 2013
It’s always good to get started with setting your short-term goals sooner rather than later. My wife and I have done this the past couple of years and it has helped us out tremendously and it can help you out too. I’ve written before about writing down your goals, but it is truly amazing what gets done when you set out and put down on paper what you hope to accomplish in the next 12 months. When you think, dream, and plan for your upcoming year, watch your goals come to fruition.
So are you in or out on the Holiday Challenge? If you are in, there’s no registration and I won’t come back asking for documentation on whether or not you did all three challenges. But if you do decide to take challenge, let me know and keep me posted on your progress. Feel free to share the challenge with friends on social media and if you talk about the challenge on Twitter please use the Hashtag #HolidayChallenge. Or you can leave a comment on your progress in the comment section below. Together we can help keep each other accountable with actually enjoying the holidays this year instead of dreading them.