As soon as the first roll of Christmas wrapping paper and the Mensch on the Bench hits the shelves, it’s time for a holiday spending plan.

Last year, Americans spent an astonishing $850 billion on holiday shopping and Experian reported that consumer credit card debt stood at $834 billion.  How many times have the January credit card bills arrived at your house and you’ve been stunned by the amount spent?

It’s really no wonder! The holidays are the most dangerous season for our money. Period. Emotions run sky high when the family comes together. We want to show we care and that we have the cash to impress. For parents, the pressure to buy what the marketers say the kids want is not only intense, it is ingrained!

More than anything we just want everyone to feel good and for some of us that means spending too much money.

Time to stop the madness, you say?

Let’s consider another way to celebrate the holidays; one that leaves us feeling great and even closer to our friends and family.

First decide what you WANT to spend your money on. Here are some ideas to get you started:

  • Travel
  • Education
  • Living debt-free
  • Starting a business
  • Funding your retirement 

Brainstorm with your partner and kids. Write your goals down! Dream big. 

Then decide that this year you’ll put your money where your goals and priorities are…. not your brothers, or your neighbors, or the toy and fashion makers.

Now let friends and family know that you are doing something different this year. Instead of exchanging traditional gifts ask if they’ll help fund your child’s education, a vacation adventure, or pitch in for a good cause. Ask them what their goals are and offer to support theirs, as well. 

You can celebrate the season, honor your goals and enjoy a debt-free January. It’s an idea that just might ripple!

I’d love to learn what goals you plan to honor this year.

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