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Real Life On A Budget

3 Ways to Stay Motivated During the Holidays

During December, it’s easy to get caught up in the holiday spirit. Who doesn’t love this time of year?

Sometimes it’s also easy to let that Christmas spirit distract you from other important stuff in your life—oh, I don’t know, like paying off debt or staying on budget.

I want you to enjoy your Christmas break without taking a mental break from everything else that matters. So how do you stay motivated during the holiday season?

Give. Give. Give. I’m not talking about the usual gifts under the tree, but rather, finding new ways to give to people in need and organizations that could use your help. Give away “gently used” toys, and let your kids help. Volunteer with a charity that helps the homeless. That’s the type of giving that changes your spirit. You focus more on the needs of others and less on yourself. It’s the type of emotional boost and change of mindset you’ll need to carry into the new year as you keep working toward financial peace.

Get visual. Somewhere in your house, you’ve probably got a Christmas countdown calendar. If not, you might have a bunch of Christmas cards posted on your fridge. Keep a “debt thermometer” visible somewhere in the middle of all that Christmas fun. That might just be the visual reminder you need to stay on track so Santa doesn’t bust your budget!

Think ahead. In the middle of December, during the height of all the Christmas cheer, imagine yourself in February opening a credit card bill and trying to fix a broken budget. Total downer, right? Right! Now, don’t put yourself in that position! Keep making the smart decisions you’ve made to this point and don’t let too much eggnog get you off track!

Have fun. Buy gifts. Go to parties. Enjoy yourself this Christmas season.

But while you’re at it, keep your priorities straight and stay on the plan. With that attitude, you’ll set yourself up for an amazing 2016!

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