With extra end of year stress, lots of festivities, responsibilities, and expectations, the holidays may leave you curled in a ball of anxiety or clutching your wallet worried about how you’re going to pay for the fun.
Holidays need not be so stressful, though. With strategic thought and consideration of your goals and responsibilities, anyone can develop a spending plan that works for them and helps avoid the stress of the holidays (or any time of year for that matter, as life tends to throw curveballs at us without calendar considerations).
Nicholle Overkamp and Sarah Blankenship bring years of personal finance industry experience to PowHERhouse Money Coaching in Amherst. The PowHERhouse team helps ambitious women own their futures and build businesses they love.
Nicholle and Sarah first encourage you to create a spending plan, recording all your expenses, from bank accounts and credit cards, income sources, and all bills, big and small. Whether you choose to monitor this spending plan quite regularly or only now and then, Sarah explains, you can focus on where everything goes. Immediately, if you see a lot of money regularly going toward something not benefitting your goals, you can make intentional choices.
Sarah says, it’s like you give every dollar you have a job. If it’s not serving a purpose toward your goals, then it’s not necessary or beneficial, and it can be removed from your spending plan. When you’re intentional with your spending, you pay toward necessities and when you spend on extras, you don’t feel guilty.
PowHERhouse’s philosophy in growing wealth is your mindset and self-worth. “It’s about setting boundaries, having discipline, and knowing you’re worth every dollar you invest in yourself, your future, and your life. If you spend too much on things that don’t serve your future,” Sarah says, “your goals will suffer.”
Sarah’s best piece of advice in personal finance is to ask for help when you need it. She encourages us all to educate ourselves about personal finance, but if you need a hand, reach out to the professionals who know the ins and outs.
Holiday Stress Busters
Sarah jokes that the holidays seem to jump up on people every year, so be sure to block off time to take care of you and your goals. Set money aside every month because you know you will spend more on food, events, and activities for the holidays.
During the holiday times especially, know that you can’t go everywhere or do everything. RSVPing no is absolutely okay. Set boundaries. Nicholle’s mantra is “If it’s not a hell yes, it’s a no.” Consider if an event or expense is in line with your goals and priorities. If it’s not, admit that and decline. It’s really okay to say no. Sarah, a self-described work in progress and yes-woman, says that’s where the stress around the holidays usually comes from, so allow yourself grace and respect your boundaries to minimize the stress.
• Check in with yourself – ask yourself what you want to achieve, why you’re getting up each day and going to work. Sarah says, “We often are stuck in the grind, getting to the end of the week, the end of the month, getting to the end of the holidays. Instead, think ‘What do I want to accomplish today, this week, this year, in ten years?’ With goals in mind, you will be more purposeful and intentional with your money.”
• “I don’t know” can be an answer. Sarah says clients may not quite know what they want to do in the future, but they know they want to be ready to travel or to buy something, so intentionally leaving an I Don’t Know in your spend plan is helpful.
• Sometimes people are afraid of setting goals because they like where they are. Goals don’t have to be huge and aspirational. Maintaining and/or small goals are important too.
• Dig into your goals. If you want to go on a trip, set money aside intentionally and regularly to achieve them.
By shifting your personal finance mindset, you can and will level up your personal and professional goals.
Look for PowHERhouse events in and around Amherst to inspire your personal finance journey. Check out the Money Bitch Mingles, where women network in a fun, open, comfortable environment, discussing financial questions while also making amazing connections with other businesswomen and like-minded people.
For information on PowHERhouse Money Coaching’s online courses to help you ditch debt, buy a home, understand your cash flow, or estate plan, and everything you need to own your financial future, visit: powherhousemoney.com