We have few unlimited resources in our lives, one important one is love. On the flip side, we have some limited resources as well – money and time.
Let’s talk about how to be mindful about your time which will relieve stress around money. The holidays are touted as a magical time to spend with friends and family. Is it really? Throughout the year, most of us choose the people who are special to us and spend time with them. In November and December, it may feel to many of us as though we are forced to spend time with those who we only see at the end of the year, don’t have a connection with and are just acquaintances.
This season, remember it is okay to say no to some events. It will be more of a polite “I can’t make it this year,” conversation, and there is no need to explain yourself. Whether it is the community social, the parent’s neighbor’s Christmas eve revelry or the yoga teacher’s soiree; if these are “not your people,” politely decline. Spend that time with your people who give you energy or use that time for yourself to recharge alone at home or in the outdoors. If you are struggling with this concept, it often helps to make a list of the people you want to spend time with.
By saying NO to events that don’t have meaning to you, you are also saying no to spending money on food and gifts that are not where you want to allocate your hard-earned cash and give you no joy.
The next step may be saying NO to events that you may noramally host. Maybe not the event itself, but does every adult need a gift from every other adult? Start changing the family rules to the Secret Santa and then the maybe on to the White Elephant Exchange. If giving to family and friends brings you joy, then carry on. Remember that to others it may be an emotional and financial burden so you could be the exception.
It may also be time to move a large family dinner such as Thanksgiving or Christmas away from one house with one family doing all the work to a new system of the tradition of pot-luck where everyone can pitch in both financially and with the work involved.
Having friends and family visiting does not mean painting the guest bedroom or buying new towels every year; it means making them feel welcomed, comfortable and at home.
If you have guests, let them know where breakfast items are stored and what time the household eats. Set boundaries that are manageable to everyone. Shoes off inside is acceptable to all as an example.
There are many more things you can do to stay stress free during the holiday season. In fact, Financial Knowledge offers a class dedicated to this topic.
Make this the start of saying NO at the holidays so you can say YES to the people and events you love.