Episode 18

Save Money and Avoid Christmas Stress

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Download the Christmas Budget from this Episode

Use this budget to list out the names, gift ideas and dollar amounts planned for each of your friends and family this year.

Jack Frost is nippin’ at your nose, Christmas lights are up and checkout lines are a mile long—it’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas! Isn’t it magical?

Or . . . does it just stress you out?

It’s easy to miss out on the joy of the Christmas season when you’re pulled in so many competing directions. If you’re hosting, you have to buy loads of groceries, cook a whole spread of food, and clean the house from top to bottom! If you’re celebrating at someone else’s house, you have to pack up the kids, bring the perfect side dish, and then do it all over again at someone else’s house!

And I know we all feel the pressure to find the perfect gift. For everyone.

But I want you to take a deep breath, because in this episode, we’re going to turn the most stressful time of the year back into the most wonderful time of the year.

2 WAYS TO AVOID GETTING STRESSED OUT THIS CHRISTMAS

There are two main areas of your life where I want you to have boundaries:

  1. Your money
  2. Your time

Let’s start with your money.

Make a (shorter) list.

Some of us need to hear this message (I’m raising my hand!) more than others: You cannot buy for everyone.

If you get gifts for the mailman, your kids’ teachers, all the nieces and nephews, and that sweet boy who sometimes walks your dog, you’ll go broke! Plus, your Christmas budget will go further if you limit who you’re buying gifts for. Make a list of people you feel like you need to buy for, and then narrow it down to those you really want (and can afford) to buy for.

I know you might feel bad for leaving some people off your list, but don’t worry. You aren’t being stingy—you’re being smart! Plus, I’ll tell you how you can still include people who didn’t make the cut in just a bit.

Stick to your budget.

Once you’ve got a solid list, write down how much you want to spend on each person. In fact, I have a Christmas budget that you can download here for free. It might feel weird putting a dollar amount next to each name, but it’s really okay. I promise!

When you’re shopping, stick to the amount you already decided on before you’re confronted with big sale signs and beautiful holiday displays.

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Get creative.

Now, for those people who didn’t make your shopping list—I haven’t forgotten them, and neither will you! Get creative with their gifts. Here’s what I do: I bake a bunch of cookies and package them separately with personal, handwritten notes. You can totally express the same sentiment without the big spend.

Now let’s talk about your time.

You can’t please everyone.

It may be uncomfortable to place boundaries around your time, because you’re going to let some people down. But is it worth it to put your family through six different Christmases every year and wind up feeling frazzled instead of festive?

Right now, at the beginning of the season, you can decide to say no to some of the people and obligations that run you ragged year after year. If you’re married, talk to your spouse about a holiday rotation of visiting different sides of the family.

If you struggle in this area and find yourself overcommitting a lot, my friend Christy Wright can help you say no, guilt-free, here.

What stresses you out the most at Christmas?

I have two more ways for you to free up your time this Christmas. Now, this may be controversial, but one of them is a tradition that I think has got to go! Be sure to watch the episode above to see if you agree.

What is your biggest cause of Christmas stress? Share your stressors and encouragement in my community here!

TAKE THE STRESS OUT OF GIFT WRAPPING

Believe it or not, you can have beautifully wrapped packages under the tree without breaking the bank on wrapping paper, ribbons and bows. My friend Sarah from Woman’s Day shows us how to wrap your presents with a few simple, affordable supplies that will wow your friends and family! Watch the episode for all the details.

YOU CAN DO CHRISTMAS STRESS-FREE AND DEBT-FREE

“Our money was flying out the window faster than we could keep track of it.”

Do you know what that feels like?

That’s what Amber Jover said when I sat down with her and her husband, Barry. Amber and Barry have never done a Christmas budget or had a Christmas without credit card debt.

Unfortunately, their story is true for more Americans than not. Last year, a study found that 56% of shoppers were still paying off 2016’s Christmas debt in October 2017.(1) You guys, that’s 10 months of interest, payments and stress. Plus, it starts all over again in only two months!

I don’t want this to be your story anymore. We need to change the headline! In this episode, Amber and Barry are rewriting their story. Check it out and see how we gave their Christmas budget an epic makeover.

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TAKE THE STRESS OUT OF YOUR SCHEDULE

We have a special treat in this show, because my sweet friend Emily Ley is joining me! Emily helps women simplify and organize their lives so they can spend time doing what matters most to them. She has so much wisdom to share, and I really want you to hear her message. I mean, I felt less stressed just talking to her!

In this episode, Emily shares:

  • Practical steps to take inventory of your schedule and create space
  • How to give yourself grace
  • Ways to stop sacrificing the good to chase the perfect

That last one is something I know we can all work on, right?

I’m so excited for what this episode can do for your Christmas season, you guys! So pour yourself a cup of hot chocolate—or maybe some eggnog—sit back, relax and invest 30 minutes into making this Christmas stress-free!

 

Sponsors pay the producer of this show, The Lampo Group, LLC, advertising fees for mentioning their services or products during programing. Advertising fees are not based upon or otherwise tied to any product sale or business transacted between any consumer or sponsor. The following sponsors have paid for the programing you are viewing: SimpliSafe, Zander Insurance.