As we approach holiday time we want the season to be merry without the post-holiday financial blues in January. How can we celebrate and enjoy the season while not overextending ourselves financially? When it comes to your money let the holiday season of 2018 be the Season of Planning. If we plan our season we can reduce our holiday stress and we can avoid the post-holiday financial regret many suffer when 2019 starts.

Mothers have so many additional responsibilities we take on during the holidays, and concerns about spending and money can be a huge source of stress. If this has been your experience in previous years then let the end of 2018 set up a great January 2019. One of the best gifts you can give yourself is a promise to plan your spending and then keeping your promise.  

I know this can be easier said than done so we need a strategy. As a Financial Architect I help clients understand money so they can make decisions that will benefit themselves and their families. Every day we are bombarded with things to buy, things to invest in, things to do with our money. It seems like an assault on our wallets, a constant stream of things we are told we really must buy, invest in, get before they are all gone!

Mothers have so many additional responsibilities we take on during the holidays, and concerns about spending and money can be a huge source of stress
— Asalyn Coachman, Financial Architects

This constant buying pressure seems to reach a frenzied peak at holiday time when the emphasis is put on what we can buy for each other, and ourselves. We as mothers and consumers do not need to succumb to that pressure. How you and your family celebrate the season is up to you, and you control how much of your money gets spent.

If overbuying has been a problem previous seasons then let this year be different. Insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results. As mothers, the holidays can make us feel like we are going a little crazy, so take back control and make a new plan this year for how you will spend your holiday dollars.

1.    DECIDE what major purchases you want to make and start looking for the best pricing as early as possible. By doing so you will know if an advertised price is the time to buy.

2.    STOCK-UP on holiday supplies. You know you will need more tape and wrapping supplies than you think so grab it in bulk when you see it. Wrapping paper does not have a shelf life so you can always use it for holiday 2019. 

3.    PLAN out meals for December in November. With so much to do as the holidays approach make a little extra food in November and freeze it for later. Not buying fast food and take-out will help reduce your spending and your stress level at mealtime.

4.    RETHINK some expensive holiday traditions. Buying gifts for all members in a large family can be hard on a budget. Maybe this year draw a name from a hat, or for just the adults, a donation in their name to a charity they would love to help.

5.    WRITE down how much you want to spend on each person before shopping. Take some time to think about it before your first purchase. If you have guidelines you will be less likely to make an impulse purchase.

6.    TRACK what you spend. This is so important because your expenses must be tracked to stay on course. Seeing the numbers on paper (or your phone, tablet or computer) will keep you from overspending.

Plan your holiday spending before the holiday shopping begins and you can give yourself the gift of less financial stress now and in January 2019.

Asalyn Coachman is a Registered Representative of and offers Securities through The O.N. Equity Sales Company, Member FINRA/SIPC, 39395 W Twelve Mile Rd., Ste 102 Farmington Hills, MI 48331 (248) 482-3600. Investment Advisory Services offered through O.N. Investment Management Company.  Financial Architects, Inc. and Mother Honestly are not subsidiaries or affiliates of The O.N. Equity Sales Company or O.N. Investment Management Company