During the Holidays we have a tendency to take care of everyone but ourselves. As you head into the undoubtedly busy week, Kaila Pilecki of The Money Edit has some tips on how to maintain healthy boundaries (financial and otherwise) so you can start your 2019 feeling healthy, happy & balanced.
It’s the most wonderful time of the year! Cue the carols, cocktails and parties. Cue the family gatherings, expectations and spending! While it’s fun to experience the tradition and magic of the season, the holidays can be the most expensive and stressful time of the year. It’s hard to march to the beat of your own drum in the face of gift giving, party-going traditionalists.
Here are some (ruthlessly frugal) ways to manage the social and financial pressure of the season:
Set Boundaries Early
Yes, it can be uncomfortable to break the social mold. No one wants to be the person that says, “I can’t afford to buy gifts this year” or worse, “I don’t want to buy you gifts to begin with”. But as an adult, it pays off to be brave and do what’s right for you. Have a conversation with the important people in your life and suggest that you change it up this year. For example, you could say, “Hey mom, since we’re all grownups now and we don’t really need anything would you be OK if I organized a family secret Santa?” Your whole family will thank you.
As an adult, it pays off to be brave and do what’s right for you.
Get Your Santa On
Most of us feel like we’re on the hook to buy gifts for our family, friends and the Secret Santa at work. So start by brainstorming all of the people to whom you want (or feel obligated) to give gifts. Make a list. Next, we’ll tackle how much you should be spending on each person. Remember, a card and a thoughtful note go a long way.
A Few Tips
If you have to participate in an office gift exchange, for the love of God, make sure the organizer sets a limit.
Send a card with a thoughtful message (bonus points if you make your own cards with old family Christmas pictures on the front)
Host a cookie party (Invite your friends over, bake all day and share the cost. Pick up some festive tins at the dollar store, et voila! You end up with many different cookies and beautiful homemade gifts)
Finally, A Little Holiday Pep Talk.
May I remind you that you are the boss of you! No matter how expensive the gift, it does not symbolize how much you love the person you buy it for. There are tons of emotions wrapped up in the holidays but we can all choose to take it lightly. We can take the brave position that people’s emotions are “100% their responsibility”. Know that after this holiday season, life will go on. Brene Brown would be so proud.