My Cart

0 item(s)$0.00
You have no items in your shopping cart.

0

    Swipe to the left

    Encouragement

    How to Make Your Holiday Season Financially Stress-Free (in 7 Easy Steps)

    November 4, 2019 4939 Views No comments

    The holidays will be here before we know it. It’s a magical time of beautiful decorations and lights, gifts, parties... and money stress. Yes, you read that right. Almost half of us stress out about money during the holidays.

    It makes complete sense. We take on a lot of extra expenses this time of year. There are expenses that come to mind right away like gifts, vacations, and hosting parties, but there are also expenses that are less obvious. We might purchase a sparkly dress for the office holiday party, take more Ubers than we normally do, or forget that we always give a cash gift to the mail person.

    The crazy part is that while we know we’re going to spend more this time of year, very few people plan for it. Even if we set a budget, we’re probably not putting money aside in advance. That means we end up stressing out over how to make these expenses work and most Americans end up with more credit card debt.

    Then we’re playing catch up going into the New Year, which makes it even more difficult to succeed in our financial goals.

    The good news is, we can plan for our holiday expenses, and the sooner we do, the less pain we’ll feel financially.

    Here are 7 easy steps to a financially stress-free holiday season:

    1. What’s most important to you?

    Take a step back and think about what’s most important to you about the holidays. What are your favorite holiday memories? What made those memories special? These are the things you’ll want to prioritize spending money on this holiday season. When you prioritize what’s important and let go of the rest, a magical thing happens. Your lifestyle ends up feeling bigger and more meaningful, yet you end up saving more money.

    2. Run the numbers

    What do you plan to spend money on this year? You can start with the things that are most important (from step #1 above), but there are probably other expenses to plan for. Make a list. For example, you may want to buy gifts, travel, host a party, account for extra dining out, purchase party clothes, or pay for additional transportation.

    Get specific and add up the numbers. For example, if you listed gifts above, how many gifts do you plan to buy? What will you plan to spend on each gift? If you decide to buy five gifts and plan to spend $50 per gift, that’s $250 in total spending on gifts. You can make a spending estimate for each item on your list.

    3. Make it fabulously frugal

    Is there any way to reduce the total above while maintaining the quality or making it better? Let’s continue with the gift example. Instead of getting five gifts, you might decide to do a Secret Santa where each person involved gets one person a $50 gift. This adds some excitement to the process. Now you’ve reduced your total spend from $250 to $50 in the gifts category.

    4. Create the space

    Next you want to make the space for your holiday fund. I highly recommend creating a separate savings account for it so that it’s clear that this money is specifically for your holiday fund. I’m a big fan of using an online savings account so you can keep the fund out of sight and out of mind - in its own bucket - while also earning some interest. You can use this method for other larger, less frequent expenses as well.

    5. Consider your income

    Then, it’s time to account for your income. How many paychecks do you have from now until you plan to make your holiday purchases? If you don’t get a regular paycheck, break it up by time. How many weeks or months do you have until you plan to make the purchases?

    It’s important to account for any expenses you plan to make in advance. For example, you may prefer to buy gifts the month before. That’s when you’ll want to have the money there and waiting for you.

    From there, you can calculate it out. If you plan to spend $500 total on the holidays and you have five paychecks until you want to start spending the money, you will want to transfer $100 per paycheck into your holiday fund.

    If you’re not sure how to find $100 per paycheck, here are six steps to save $1,000 this month.

    6. Make it automatic

    Set this transfer up to be automatic. Automation ensures that we don’t have to depend on willpower or our memory to transfer the money over each paycheck. This gives us peace of mind because we can feel confident it’s going to happen.

    Schedule the calculated per paycheck or per week amount to transfer to your holiday fund automatically. Continuing with our example above, you’d set up an automatic transfer for $100 per paycheck to go to your holiday fund. Then the cash will be there waiting there for you when it’s time to start your holiday spending. You can transfer it over in advance or put expenses on your credit card and pay them off immediately using the funds from your holiday fund.

    7. Plan ahead for next year.

    The earlier we start planning for the holidays, the smaller our transfers can be and the less “pain” we’ll feel per paycheck. When we aren’t playing catch up after the holidays, we can start planning for next year and that will reduce our financial stress even more.

    Let’s say you start right after the holidays and have 24 paychecks to put aside $500 for the holidays next year. You’d only have to transfer $21 per paycheck to your holiday fund to have $500 saved in time for next year.

    In Conclusion

    Taking a step back and mapping out a conscious and intentional plan for the holidays allows us to prioritize what’s most important while decreasing our financial stress. If you walk through each of these seven steps, you’ll know exactly how to plan for your holiday expenses this year and get started early for the next.

    Then get a head start on your New Year’s goals with our free 48 Hour Personal Finance Financial Makeover.

    -Ashley Feinstein Gerstley

    For more tips on budgeting your money, check out The 30-Day Money Cleanse>>

    Live with Purpose

    September 9, 2019 496 Views No comments

    Although we can't choose how we're born, we do get to choose how we live. This means that your choices matter in a big way. Understanding that you matter is the first step in living a life with purpose. After that, it's about taking one Monday, one action at a time - leading to a change in your life and those around you. Here are some steps from Every Monday Matters to help you get started on your journey:


    1. Make Monday Joyful

    Joy surrounds us - we can create it, experience it and share it. And it comes in so many different forms! When was the last time you did something just for the fun of it? How often do you laugh until it hurts? And can you recall taking a moment to love the little things? If you can't remember, make it a point to start each Monday (eventually each day!) to take a few minutes to think about joyfulness and what it means to you.


    Take it a step further: start a new hobby that looks like fun; find a funny picture and share it with someone to make them laugh; do a little thing each day for a week to bring yourself or someone else joy.


    2. Make Monday Creative

    Everyone is unique; there is only one you. Do you take the time to appreciate your individual creativity or the creativity of those around you? Being creative allows you to express what makes you different, and it connects you to other people.

    Art is a gift that allows you to appreciate the world around you. Our hands are an amazing creation that enable us to build something we can share. And our differences are what provide so much variety.

    Use these gifts to get creative: Try expressing yourself by doing something simple such as doodling, cooking, or writing a short story. Use your hands to build something small for your house - there are plenty of online tutorials to get you started. Find a new, local international-inspired restaurant, concert or exhibit to experience.


    3. Make Monday Positive

    Positivity is more inspiring and valuable than negativity; however, it always seems harder to look on the bright side. The good news is, you can change this and you will likely be surprised by how easy it is to be positive with everyone you come across. When you focus on the good in your life, you can flip the script by saying and doing positive things. By asking a simple "why not?" you can take matters into your own hands and let go of negativity.

    Put positivity out in the world this week: When your friends or co-workers get together for a pity party, try leading them into a conversation that instead promotes the positives. When something in your life feels out of reach, try turning it into a "why not?" and see where it takes you. Lastly, think back to someone who made a difference in your life and call, write or email to let them know.


    4. Make Monday Expressive

    Everyone has a unique story. Have you shared yours? It can be hard to tell your tale and trust that you'll be accepted but, in order to live a life that matters, you need to embrace who you are and be honest and authentic. Only then can you truly be living a life with purpose.

    Express your true self: Look at your emails, social posts, and texts from this past week and take an audit to see if you meant what you said. Find a way to show your love to friends and family in your own creative and meaningfully way. Lastly, share a secret with someone you trust.


    For more ways to live a life that matters, check out Every Monday Matters>>

    What Is Your Pebble?

    December 17, 2017 8823 Views 1 comment

    Everyone has had a pebble in his or her shoe. You may have one or two now. It's the small, nagging thoughts that eventually weigh you down. Some pebbles have been hidden, undetected for years...

    Get Up And Win The Race

    September 6, 2017 4068 Views No comments

    The important number is ONE. Get up one more time than you fall.

    Perfectionists, Treat Yourselves More Kindly

    August 14, 2017 6769 Views No comments

    Are you a perfectionist? You probably are, like most of us, but to make sure, think about how you've handled specific situations as you reflect on these questions...


    Need Help? Call: 1-800-900-3427

    *Free standard shipping on U.S. orders of $50 or more and Canadian orders of $99 or more. View our Shipping Policy.

    We have made updates to our Terms of Use and Privacy Policy as of June 1, 2018 to give you more control over your personal information,
    support new data protection laws in the European Union called the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), and allow you to make
    more informed privacy choices when you interact with us.
    All content and design copyright © Simple Truths 2019. All Rights Reserved.
    View our Privacy Policy and Terms of Use.