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By: Angela Caban
During the holiday season, many of us are taking the time to reflect on the meaning of the season. If you’re like me, you’re working to decorate your home to perfection and ensure every meal is a feast. Even when our spouse or loved one is deployed during the holidays, we tend to not slow down and keep on with tradition. However, the reality of the holidays is that without a plan of action, we are likely to burn out and overspend – a classic blunder. Let’s face it – the holiday season can be stressful, add to that mix a deployed loved one and the stress can be overwhelming.
With a plan, you can make the impossible, possible and lower that stress level. Here are three keys to staying on budget for the holiday season that has been my go-to year after year. Minimize, Manage and Make it Happen.
First and foremost, set a budget and stick to it…
This is one of the most difficult things for most of us to accomplish, because we want to do more than our budgets will allow. The “Christmas spending guilt”, as I call it. You want to make up for the deployment of a spouse by overspending on elaborate gifts hoping that will fill the gap of an absentee loved one. Let’s be clear on one thing, there is no gift on the planet that can fill the gap left by the absences of a loved one- so stop trying! How many of us remember the exact gifts we received at five years old, fifteen or even twenty? If we are honest with ourselves what we remember most is the feeling of surprise when we got what we asked for or the little things we did with family and friends that became traditions, we can pass down to our children.
So, try not to stress about the gifts too much and follow the three keys when budgeting;