According to a recent study, one out of four people said they’ll need more than three months to pay off what they charged as holiday expenses.
So why is this woman smiling?
That’s because ‘tis the season for Shell Tain, 1 SmartLife’s Money Coach, to spring into action.
An experienced accountant as well as certified life coach, Shell has a passion for helping people untangle their money knots.
And it doesn’t involve berating yourself for overspending.
“Don’t feel guilty, don’t beat yourself up – that’s never going to work,” she says. “It’s about moving forward.”
To get started, Shell suggests taking these simple steps to stop overspending, whether during the holidays or any time of the year:
1. Get off autopilot: Too many of us are sleepwalking as we are spending, falling into what Shell calls the “money traps” of habit, tradition, or convenience. Simply becoming a bit more mindful can save you a lot of money. “Once you’re more conscious about what you are doing, you can begin to try different things, make a new plan,” she says.
2. Focus on what’s really wanted: C’mon, you know Grandma really didn’t need another reindeer sweater. As Shell notes, “most people crave connection and experiences; they often don’t even remember the gifts they got last year.” If you start to consider deepest needs and desires, chances are that you’ll reduce cash outlay, too. As an example, Shell notes that a homemade gift by a grandchild or a plan for a one-on-one outing will likely be more prized by your mother than anything you could buy her from the store. And giving your Mom these lower-cost memories actually “buys” you more emotional fulfillment, what you really wanted from the gift exchange, too.
3. Spend more time, less money. Of course, being more thoughtful about your spending is going to occupy a bit more space on your calendar than that last-minute impulsive or panicked buying spree. But the time you spend delving into what’s really wanted – and developing more inventive gifts and experiences from such deliberations – will likely lead to significant savings. “And don’t forget: time is more of a renewable resource than money,” says Shell.
So don’t just wince at those credit card bills; now’s the perfect time to start planning for more fulfilling – and less costly – holiday season for next year. “Repeating your same patterns is not going to make you feel better,” Shell says.
Want more guidance and money-saving tips from 1 Smart Life’s “Untangler”? Attend Shell’s free tele-seminar The Money Hangover: How to Make This Your Last One on Tuesday, January 29th, 12:15 PM EST – 1:15 PM EST.
Over the past 18 years, Kelly has successfully coached business leaders and people from all walks of life to reach their highest potential. With a Master’s in counseling, professional coach and mediation certifications, and 20 years of Human Resources experience, she has successfully helped others define their dreams and create pathways to success. She is the creator and owner of 1 Smart Life, LLC a new style of personal coaching with a team of experts in all of life’s challenging areas.