As we wrap up our holiday shopping, let’s reflect back on our giving. When we think about the love, generosity, and kindness shown by our many friends, families, and close personal associates, we certainly want to express our gratitude through presents, monetary gifts, and thoughtful acts.
However, we must balance that with financial discipline where current commitments to our household finances should take precedence. Therefore, we must resist procrastination and be proactive in preparing for our holiday giving.
First, we must recognize that waiting until November and December is too late. When setting our monthly budget priorities, there is simply not enough room or time to scrape enough savings to buy all of the presents that we desire for others. Be aware that the credit card alternative will only compound the problem. Taking on more debt means paying excessive interest charges that erode our wealth.
Rather than succumb to more indebtedness, make a New Year’s resolution to start saving for your Christmas shopping in January. Open up a Christmas savings account and put away 1-2% of your income then. While this amount may be small, it will slowly accumulate over time as compounding interest grows. Of course, our giving is a reflection of what we earn, so make sure to not exceed your capacity.
Next, make a list of individuals that you want on your holiday shopping list. If it is large, then you might want to downsize the monetary value of each gift. In those cases, you will want to be more creative and more thoughtful in what you buy. You might be surprised when people value the inexpensive gifts more when it comes with added consideration and love.
Recognize that the best gift that you can give yourself is financial independence. Achieving this will improve your state of mind and minimize your worries. It will improve your relationships with those close to you as your stress level falls.
Be consistent with your sacrifices throughout the year. Resist the urge to charge it and change it. Change your buying habits by focusing on your needs, rather than your wants. Change the course of financial decline by choosing financial prosperity.
By choosing this path, I am confident that the end result will be greater wealth and correspondingly, greater giving in the future! It is my prayer that your gift of giving multiplies each and every year. Merry Christmas everyone!