The holidays are just around the corner. This can be the most glorious or the most stressful time of the year. Extra demands on our time, emotions, and resources can stretch you beyond your limits.
And that’s why you need plastic surgery to help reduce your holiday stress level.
A nip here, a tuck there, a quick cut and I promise you, your husband will be saying you need to do this more often. By making nip, tuck and cut a part of your monthly routine, you will no longer be plagued by all that excess that follows you around all year long.
You know what I’m talking about, the shopping rush that put a smile on your face actually caused your chin to double in size when your jaw dropped, but not from laughter. And look at your eyes, bulging after viewing the credit card bills that roll in come January. By June, you’ve barely put a dent in your Christmas debt. Now your laugh lines are stress fractures that can seriously damage your marriage. Fall rolls around and the ghost of Christmas past still haunts you like cellulite.
Girlfriends, all this won’t go away by itself. It’s time for plastic surgery.
A Nip Here
- Nip excessive spending by making a budget and then sticking to it. We don’t plan to have financial failures this time of the year, we just fail to plan. Christmas is on December 25th every year. Why are we surprised when it arrives, and we’re not prepared?
- If you are just now starting your shopping and you haven’t been putting money aside each month towards gifts, then make a list of all the essentials that must be paid out of your income between now and Christmas. The essentials would be what Dave Ramsey calls “The Four Walls” – food, utilities, shelter and transportation. Next list what bills are due and your charitable giving. Whatever’s left is what you have to spend on Christmas. Here’s how to create a budget online in 60 seconds.
- Another tip to nip excessive spending: Create a list of each person you’re buying for and a dollar limit by their name.
- Nip the notion that bigger and more is better. Our children and grandchildren won’t be damaged for life if we don’t get them everything they want. If you must have a gift for everyone, consider simple, even homemade items, or gift certificates of time or service. Exchanging names with extended family and friends is also a convenient way to stay within your budget.
- Before you run out to shop, do some research. Check ads and online for the best deals and only shop there. Purchasing as much as you can online, using your debit card, will actually reduce impulse purchases. No more temptation to buy something on a whim because it looked pretty in the store.
A Tuck There
- If you do hit the malls, you’ll spend less if you tuck cash into your wallet. When the cash is gone, you’re done shopping.
- Tuck your debit card safely away in your wallet, and commit not to use it. They’re convenient, but you’ll be more inclined to go over budget when using your debit card. It’s hard to keep track of how much you’re spending during a shopping trip when you can’t visually see the funds dwindling away.
- Keep a copy of your Christmas list tucked away in your wallet as well as at home. This will be helpful as a quick reference when shopping.
A Quick Cut
- Ultimately, the best way to reduce holiday stress is plastic surgery; cut those credit cards in half and run them through a shredder! This seems extreme, but it works. Proverbs 22:7 says, “The rich rules over the poor, and the borrower is servant to the lender.” Do you want to be anyone’s servant other than the Lord?
- Don’t get sucked in by the “We’ll give you 10% off your purchase today if you’ll get our charge card” trap. Politely cut the clerk off and say, “No thank you.”
This type of plastic surgery will bring peace, harmony and oneness to your marriage, not only during the holidays, but year round.
Marsha Harwood is a Biblical counselor, life coach, speaker, writer and host of Grace Café Radio. Married to her very own Dave Ramsey Financial Counselor of a husband, Mike, for 38 years, you can imagine who’s the “free spirit” and who’s the “nerd” in their home. She’s passionate about inspiring women to become the woman of grace God designed them to be, her family, coffee, walks in the woods and swinging her kettle bell. You can find her on Facebook and developing Grace Café’s new website.