December 11, 2022

My top festive season money tips

My Top Money Tips for the Festive Season…

Christmas, November, and December always used to stress me out so much. Like anxiety vomit in the middle of the night kind of stress.  It’s less so these days. But for a long time, the festive season used to bring out the worst money guilt, fear and shame for me. 

A time that should have been filled with joy was clouded with anxiety and guilt. 

Wondering if I had bought too much or too little for the kids for Christmas?

Stressing that if a family member got me an expensive gift, I would not be able to give one that expensive in return?

Freaking out and feeling guilty if anyone gave me money for Christmas because part of me so badly wanted to spend it and #treatmyself (because it’s a gift, after all) but the responsible part of me guilting myself into paying bills with it (a classic example of scarcity mindset and shame).

The 8 different family Christmas events and stressing about all the food and alcohol we needed to buy. Not to mention the extra travel and fuel to get to all the separate events. Seeing our weekly grocery/fuel budget blown out and feeling out of control and overwhelmed. Shame and guilt for not managing things better. 

Seeing our bank account diminished over the Christmas period, I would freak out and enter a feast-famine punishment cycle with money, 

Setting new years goals determinedd to “get my money shit together this year” or “spend less, save more” …..Then feeling like a failure time and time again when no matter what I tried, it just didn’t work … 

Trust me … I felt it all. I used to be super mean to myself about money and all my perceived failings around it. That’s not how we should be spending this time of year. 

I’ve spent the last 5 years gently, slowly rewiring my belief systems around money and my expectations around festive spending.  Over the years, I noticed it didn’t matter if I was earning a lot or a little if I spent $80 on presents or $800 … this time of year always triggered my money issues in a HUGE way.  

But it was energy, it was mindset, and it was up to me to change …. Just like its up to you. 

Here’s what I know to be true for me now.

I KNOW that money is my friend and ally; it supports me and allows me opportunities and choices. 

I know that money flows into my life in expected and unexpected ways (in fact, this week, I got an email from an old company doing work stating they had $1000 for me in back pay. I haven’t logged an hour there since 2019. This shit works guys haha)

I know that some days, weeks, months, and seasons, we spend more than average, and some days, weeks, months, and seasons, we spend less than average. And that’s OK. 

I know that while fancy colour-coded weekly budget makes sense in theory, the reality is a lot messier… after tracking and paying attention, nurturing my relationship with money over the years, I know now there are ebbs and flows in our bank accounts, peaks and troughs. 

Sometimes there are lots, sometimes there is little …. but I always trust that I can make and attract as much as I desire.  

I KNOW with 100% certainty that whatever I spend and release comes back to me tenfold. I used to roll my eyes at this belief, but honestly, after 5-7 years of practising it, I know it to be true. I’ve seen the evidence of its time and time again. 

Here’s my top money tip for the festive season >>>>

  • Release the pressure to “draw within the lines” for this season. Sometimes this time of year it is just super social; there are gatherings and extra expenditures that may not happen throughout the rest of the year. This is OK. Peaks and troughs, remember, just call intention to it, and take some time in January to evaluate the extra expenditure from the festive season. Is there a way you can put some money aside throughout the year over the next 12 months to prepare for this time of life?

  • Time is money too, and I mean this in both ways, as you can give your time as a gift to people if you feel called to (my sister gifted a day out with my son for his birthday this year, and he loved it, they played basketball and went to the park together) . But also, your time is money. Often, a lot of the present buying stress comes from the days we have to set aside, the travel we have to do and the stress that comes from trudging around the shops with everyone else … maybe sitting at home with a glass of red and doing your shopping online frees you up to actually spend those hours IN your business, making money instead. Another thing I like to do is buy the same gifts for people, so I batch my presents (this year I got all my nieces and nephews PJs, last year we bought everyone boardgames).

  • Lists List Lists  — present lists, food prep lists, to-do lists, chores lists, and packing lists if you are travelling. It’s easy to get super overwhelmed with everything in our heads, the never-ending to-do list and the mental load that mothers/women are in charge of for the festive season.  When we are overwhelmed and overstimulated… we don’t make great choices. One year I was so stressed out with the crowds at woollies, I bought 3 Christmas puddings … I mean, what did I need 3 Christmas puddings for? Needless to say, overwhelm = bad choices. Without lists, we can over-buy, over-commit and just, in general, freak out. My solution, over the years … lists, lists, lists, and brain dumps. Brain dumps have helped my anxiety so much …  before bed, or anytime you are feeling overwhelmed, grab a piece of black paper and write down every single thing in your head, it doesn’t have to make sense; it doesn’t even have to be legible … it just has to be out of your head … write it all down then scrunch up the paper and throw it away. When you wake up in the morning, sit down and write a clear to-do list,  then decide from that list what items you need help with or to delegate to someone else. 

  • Let go of expectations – expectations are where disappointment grows. I bought a stunning gift for X, but she gave me a bunch of homemade cookies in a recycled box ??? and I just feel ripped off. Sound familiar?  When we give gifts from a place of expectation, we are setting ourselves up for disappointment. I did this for so many years, leaving me feeling constantly burnt out. “I thought they would have reacted a bit more, maybe they didn’t like it, I shouldn’t have spent days picking it out ?” Unconsciously and without knowing, we set expectations on the other person, to how they should react, if they should like it, if they should keep it, and if it will be reciprocated ….. but the reality is we cannot control anyone else, and we certainly don’t have any say in their reaction or reciprocation. One way to avoid this disappointment is just never to give a single gift again .. but that’s not much fun. Instead, I now only give gifts to those who my heart truly desires. I don’t do the shoulds or the “but she’s your second aunt twice removed on dad’s cousins’ lawyers’ side”. I give meaningful, thoughtful gifts to those I care about and to those who appreciate them. Gift-giving is NOT everyone’s love language. Hell, even gift receiving is not most people’s love language (it isn’t mine unless it’s French champagne and then I’m ALL about it) release the expectations, gift the gifts you want to, to who you want to … and your Christmas will be a lot more enjoyable, trust me. 

I know these tips might not be what you would normally expect from “ money tips”, but honestly, I think they are even better. If you google Christmas money tips .. EVERY single one is about saving money, spending less, restricting more… it’s all coming from such a place of shame,  fear and scarcity, which I’m not about, not now, not ever. 

I hope these little tips can begin to help you shift the way you feel and view money, spending, and gift buying at this time of year and all year. 

X Merry Christmas 

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