As we sit down to carve the turkey this Thanksgiving, we pause momentarily to give thanks to God for all His blessings. 2018, like any year, is filled with joys and hard times. This last year may have been harder than past years but we are still thankful that we have made it this far for we know that it is only by God’s grace and power.
The Shopping Frenzy
After the amazing meal…the shopping begins. Sales so great you just can’t miss. You feel the need to hit all the malls, brick and mortar stores, and online stores with these incredible deals. I admit it is always awesome to capture those deals – so rewarding to our souls to know we got what we were looking for and a “killer deal”!
With this great rush of adrenaline and overwhelming sense of satisfaction, we can get in tremendous trouble. Marketers know these deals get you into a buying frenzy. Honestly, they get us into a spending frenzy. When we don’t have enough cash, we switch immediately to the plastic (credit cards).
Say It With Debt
Did you know that according to 2018 stats the average American household with credit card debt owes more than $16,000? And the average American owes more than $6,000 in credit card debt, which is a 3% increase over 2017.
Of course, this is not everyone’s spending habits, yet we can all find ourselves in a position where we get over-stretched during the holidays. We spend more of ourselves than what we should both in our money and our time and effort. To help you find balance this holiday season, we put together easy tips to keep in mind.
5 Easy Ways to Find Balance During the Holidays
1. Set a Budget
There is no reason to spend more money than you have during this gift-giving season. Setting a budget on each gift and each person you are buying for will give you guidelines and parameters to stay within.
Note: Your heart to give and bless others is wonderful, yet your bank account doesn’t allow you to do everything at once. Giving from the abundance of your heart is not equal to putting you in debt.
2. Set a Schedule
Holiday parties, family get-togethers, concerts, and all the other demands of the season are fun…but stressful. There is only so much of you to go around. Set a schedule of the things you want to do balanced with the things you have to do. You need to enjoy the season and your family. To do that, there needs to be enough of you at the end. Do not over-extend your time trying to please everyone.
3. Say NO!!
It’s okay to say no, especially during the holiday season. That may seem crazy to some people, but saying no to things that are time stealers and that drag you down are good. This doesn’t mean you get to shrug off your responsibilities. But it does mean that you stay focused on what really matters and say no to everything else.
You also should say no to impulse buying. This will only get you in trouble by buying things that you really don’t need and that are outside of your budget.
Note: It’s a fact you always spend more grocery shopping when you go hungry. So slow down, get something to eat, look over your list and stick to it. Say no to the rest.
If you don’t take time to rest you are going to burn out. If you have budgeted, scheduled, and said “no”, you’re going to have enough time to do everything and most importantly rest. When we don’t get enough rest, we make wrong and stress-filled decisions. We are not thinking clearly nor can we trust our emotions.
Note: Sometimes the most spiritual thing you can do is take a nap! Get some rest before you go shopping and face the crowds, or before other events. You will enjoy your time!
5. Keep Jesus First
The thing we forget the most during the holiday season is the purpose of the whole thing…JESUS! Why we have chosen to do so much during a 30-day period of time is crazy to me, but we all do it. Recapturing the true spirit of Christmas is keeping Jesus first in all that you do. This really needs to be #1 on our list.
Jesus is everything we need. He is All in All, Mighty God, Prince of Peace, King and Lord, Messiah, The Bright and Morning Star, Savior, and our Joy! I pray this Christmas, you will be blessed and find the balance where Jesus is first and at the center of all you do.
God bless you!