Facing Your Finances means being honest with YOU. Christmas has never, ever, ever snuck up on us. We know when it comes, every year, without fail. Which means, like most things - you can plan for it. It takes brutal honesty to admit that if we're overspending at Christmas, it's because we want to. If we're going into debt for gifts, it's because we choose to. Being honest with ourselves means recognizing the choices we're making and addressing them as such.
So...if you've had years where you've done too much, spent too much, I'd like to challenge you to try something different. Today, right now - make a list of people that you plan to purchase gifts for. (I won't call them priorities, but that's what they are). Put a dollar value of how much you would like to spend on each person next to each name. Add up the total - and be honest - how does the total make you feel? If you're cool with the TOTAL AMOUNT - go forth and shop….stick to your list, but SHOP! But if you’re NOT cool with the total, then, sit down and regroup...and I’ve got some thoughts on how to do that. Being totally transparent here - some of the shopping that we do for others is emotional. We’ve got our reasons for it, but SOME of what we’re doing when we’re shopping isn’t for love of the Christmas season. There are some other feelings wrapped up in it. So when you look at your list, the people on it and the dollar values you’ve assigned, ask yourself how and why you came to those names and that dollar amount. Ask yourself if you’re trying to prove something to someone and if so, who and why? Part of Facing Your Finances is separating your feelings and issues from your financial decisions and making sure that your emotions aren’t sabotaging your money. It’s a lot - I know - I've had to do it myself. But your feelings can wreck your future and derail your priorities and I want us to all do better with that.
Make the list...and then check your list...and make a plan.