Holiday Treats on a Dime

Peppermint Bark, Hot Chocolate and Ice-Skating

What Enhance Your Holiday Spirit?

The holidays (whether you celebrate Hannukah like me, or X-mas, or don’t celebrate a religious holiday at all) are tough time to be poor or be on a tight budget. Besides for all the presents, traveling expenses, loss of pay (for some), there are so many extras that are just so enticing. Hot chocolate! Fancy doughnuts! Anything peppermint! You get the point.

(Are you worried or stressed about budgeting for this upcoming holiday season? Are you tempted to just close your eyes, swipe your credit card and hope your debt doesn’t get too bad? Read these posts to help you Budget for One Thing After Another and Why You Should Budget Even if You Don’t Have Enough Money).

The whole holiday season (especially in the U.S) has become an extremely commercialized, non-stop tempting season. Even if you are not religious, there are so many things that have become part of our “winter rituals”. And who can blame us? Peppermint Bark is delicious! Added to the fact that so many of these things are limited-edition and only are available for a really short amount of time. The pressure to buy it NOW is real.

You would have to be a saint to have perfect self-control during the next few months. And why should you? You are allowed to enjoy and partake all the goodies that are available. Even if you are poor. Even if you have a lot of debt. Its OK to enjoy yourself. Its also OK to be sucked into the consumerism culture every once in a while. You can realize that companies have perfected the art of getting YOU to buy things and still knowingly buy these things.

 

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The Budget Hangover

Did You Overspend?

That uncomfortable feeling in your stomach. The pounding in your head. The sinking feeling that you went overboard.

I’m not talking about getting drunk and waking up hungover. I’m talking about waking up after the week long extravaganza we call Black Friday and Cyber Monday and realizing that you spent too much and blew your budget.

Resisting temptation has become harder than ever. Online ads and marketing are better than ever due to data mining and targeted promotions. The stores know what YOU want and they market directly towards that. We have all spent weeks and weeks with advertisers pinpointing our weak points and showing us ads and sending emails to get us to weaken our resolve.
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Maximizing Bonuses

Using Big Money to get you Financial Freedom

Best Way to Use your Holiday Bonus

What are you doing with your holiday bonus?

Many people get a large or small bonus around this time of year. Its super tempting to go and spend it all on something fun or even something you think you “need”. Especially when its a performance-based bonus its easy to convince yourself that you “deserve” to spend all of it on something really fun or frivolous.

But, you know what you really deserve? The biggest gift you can give yourself and your family?

Financial freedom and security.

Plan Ahead for Maximum Responsibility

BEFORE you get a bonus or other large amounts of “extra money” is the best time to decide where it should go to make the most meaningful impact on your finances. Large amounts can make the biggest dents in any debt or savings goal and has the added bonus (get it?) of making you feel like your making real progress. Small amounts DO add up but its much harder to see the progress.

Are you one of the lucky few to get a holiday bonus this year? Fingers crossed that I get one this year!

So… what to do with that extra cash?

Here is what I suggest:

If you have a lot of debt then the best thing to do is to put it towards that. Large amounts can really move the needle on your debt repayment plan and will lower your overall interest paid pretty significantly. Put it all towards one of your bills. You can put it towards the debt with the highest-interest rate or you can follow the Snowball Plan and put towards the smallest debt you have. But whichever debt you decided to pay off- put it there! Even if you are not in a strict paying off debt mode- paying off debt is one of the best ways to free up money and reach financial security and freedom.

If you don’t have any debt (good for you!) then you have some options (isn’t it great to have choices!?)

  1. First of all, take off 10% and put it towards charity. I always make charity a priority in my life. I have a few organizations that I like to give too and I also give to individuals who I personally know are struggling.
  2. Take 15% and put it in your savings ladder.

Now this is where the choices and decisions begin:

Maximize Holiday Bonus Pin
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