If you are anything like me, you will find it super easy to spend money during the holidays. With gifts for family, friends, and loved ones, it may seem like your credit card never takes a break.
But it is important to take a step back to ensure your own financial security when the temptation to spend skyrockets. That is why we wanted to focus this post on spending money…with intention.
How can finances be intentional? Is there a way to maintain your financial plan with the pressure of our spending culture? We are excited to examine these questions today to uncover how to spend money the right way this season.
Remember your budget
Remember that thing you created a while back—the thing you spent a long time perfecting, breaking, editing, and always returning to? Yes, I am referring to your budget. Sometimes it feels like the holidays swoop our budget away like the cold wind blowing snow over the ground.
But it doesn’t have to be that way. Your budget should be reflective of your goals and values. If it isn’t, then maybe it’s time to break the pencil back out and make a few more edits. Budgets aren’t designed to keep you from spending money. When you make a budget with intention, it shows you how you spend your money.
Intentional spending is an important concept, especially for retirees. With so many things changing as you enter retirement, keeping a sound philosophy regarding your spending habits becomes even more grounding and important. Creating a plan for your spending and saving will help keep you on track to reach your goals. Think about your goals now.
- What goals do you have for retirement?
- How does your current budget support those goals?
- What areas can be improved?
These questions are important as they aim to interrogate your current habits and help point to areas where you can improve.
Remember, not everyone shares the same goals, so their budgets won’t be identical. It is important that you don’t create a cookie-cutter budget. Create one that is truly representative of your life and how you wish to spend your money. If purchasing presents is important to you then do your best to include that spending in your budget. When you include your spending in your budget, you relieve the guilt that comes from actually spending it.
Be sure that you are also spending your money in a way that adds rather than detracts value from your life. You aren’t spending money simply to spend and you aren’t saving just for the sake of saving; there is an intention behind it, driving those decisions and forming those financial habits. Let those take center stage this year, and if that means you need to adjust, then be patient and flexible with yourself to make the changes that will be best for you.
Just because you are on a budget, doesn’t mean that you aren’t going to spend money; it just means that you will approach spending in a new way. For example, instead of plunging yourself into debt this holiday season, get creative in the way you spend your money and your time. You could host a dinner/game night for your family and friends, inviting everyone to bring their favorite holiday treat and game. This way you will be spending quality time making memories with your loved ones without the exorbitant price tag that comes along with it.
Think about the traditions and customs that are important to you and prioritize them in order to maximize the experience. One thing that people forget about most is gifting time and experiences. Maybe you make it a point to invite your family over for a movie night where you decorate cookies, something simple. It doesn’t need to be elaborate, it just needs to be something that you care about. Spending quality time with loved ones is becoming a rare occurrence, and prioritizing that as opposed to prioritizing spending money on a toy or accessory could mean more in the long run.
Focus on the moments
It can be easy to get distracted during the holiday season. With so many parties and expectations, the true meaning seems to get lost. Make it a point to focus on the moments this year and on the time you are able to share with loved ones near and far.
Keep your spending intentional and aligned with your values and priorities. When you stay true to that, you will be able to live your life the way you design it.
We love helping people create a financial plan that embodies the life they want to live. Schedule a call with us, and we would love to help you find new ways of incorporating your values into your financial plan.