Between unpaid holidays and high cost months, this time of year can mark the start of a difficult and expensive few months. Now is the time to get prepared, so that you can reduce the financial burden and the stress that can come with it. If you are interested in learning more about how to create a budget that supports not being paid holiday pay, check out the Blue Collar Budget.
Taking the time to prepare for those unpaid holidays that are going to be coming up in the next couple of months can save you an untold amount of stress. Most of us have never been taught how to utilize a budget, and don’t even get me started on the fact that budgets that don’t account for how you get paid can absolutely MAKE THINGS WORSE. In short, not everything is a one-size-fits-all solution.
It is a whole different ball game to budget when you do not get paid vacation, holiday, or sick pay. If someone has never lived it, they really do not understand. It is not just about having money to spend during the vacation or day off for the holiday, it is about having the money to pay the bills even though you didn’t get paid for that holiday. Very few people know how to budget for those events in addition to the time that you are taking off and that you don’t get paid for. I have lived this “No Work, No Eat” lifestyle and pay structure for 25 years and have created solutions to overcome these challenges.
So what are some things that we can do to prepare for the holiday season?
QUICK TIP – transfer money into a separate account or buy a gift card each pay period now so that you have that money set aside to purchase gifts in the next couple of months.
Well first let’s start by recognizing that the “Holiday Season” is in full swing, since:
- In October – we’re buying and preparing for the Halloween costumes, parties, carnivals, and all the decorations that are everywhere in the stores.
- In November – we have Thanksgiving, and we have a tendency to start filling our pantries and picking up those gifts for the holiday season.
- In December – we have Christmas, Hanukkah or whichever religion or holiday you follow or celebrate. The costs associated include – new outfits for holiday parties or for the kids pictures with Santa, increase in gas use (you’re using more gas going and running around all over the place shopping), increase in eating out because you’re busy running all over looking for the perfect Christmas gifts, stocking stuffers, and decorations, you’re attending holiday bazaars, and donating your time at schools and community events.
All of these things add up and can really throw your finances and budgeting out of whack. When you have a plan (a budget) that helps you set aside money for these things that are going to come up, when you start making intentional decisions and choices with your money, your stress level significantly decreases.
You go from being reactionary:
- Feeling like you’re just getting by;
- Feeling that everything is just a hustle and a bustle;
- Feeling that everything is moving at a super fast-paced momentum and is very stressful
To being proactive:
- Where you have a plan;
- Where you have money set aside;
- Where you have structure and you know what you have and what you are going to do
And once you are being proactive and have a plan, you stay within that plan, because you now see the bigger picture in what you gain, how much better you feel, and how being intentional with your money reduces the amount of stress that comes about during the holiday season.
Most people will not add up how much they spend on their credit card until January. However, in the back of their minds, they know it is adding up and it can keep them awake at night. This sense of unknowing and loss of control can cause anxiety to increase. This can lead to arguments with our family or friends. It can also cause us to be distracted from work to make more errors at work because of this distraction. All of these things can come along and tie together into a tight “financial bow”, but all of these things can also go away with a plan (budget) that is specifically created for your pay structure and lifestyle.
If you’re ready to learn the basics of creating a budget that works for you and your family – including how to set up a Future Expense Account for future holiday expenses – download the Blue Collar Budget for only $14.95.
Or, if you are looking for more support with the financial stress the holidays can bring, you can schedule a free 15-minute Discovery Call with me and we can come up with personalized solutions to support your financial goals throughout the holidays, and throughout the year!