Monday, December 1, 2014

How to Spend Less, Gain Less, And Stress Less During The Holliday Season

Happy Monday! Can you believe it is already December?!

After overeating on Thursday... and then again on Friday, I went shopping on Saturday, and, by the end of the weekend, I charged my credit card way more than I should have, I ate way more than I should have, and I felt guilty for overeating and overspending. 

Obviously, I can't go on like this ~ there are still 25 days till Christmas, and I still have quite a few holiday parties to attend and many more gifts to buy and wrap. So I decided to implement a few tricks I learned over the years that have always helped me to spend less money, gain less pounds, and reduce stress during the holiday seasons. 

1. I write down the names of gift recipients and the maximum amount I can spend on each gift. 
If I don't have a list, then, knowing myself, I would be walking around the mall buying random pretty things for myself and getting through my budget with only a few gifts in my bags.  

I write this list on my smart phone notepad, so I have it with me at any time in case I make an unplanned trip to the mall. Next to each name I jot down what I think this person would enjoy having, whether it's a book, or a cute little dress, or a funky scarf, or a gift card to a nail-spa... Then I rearrange the names by stores where I would shop at ~ Sephora, Target, Brookstone, Nordstrom, Anthropology, Amazon (of course!)... 

2. I sign up for two additional Pilates or Yoga classes per week. 
There is no question that I will be exposed to a lot of food and drinks this month. And it is almost impossible and even silly not to allow myself to enjoy the feasts. So these extra classes, in addition to the usual fitness routine, really help the metabolism work better, burn a few extra calories, and make room for that extra Eggnog latte or slice of Buche de Noel.

Oh, and to make sure that I won't skip a class, I actually sign up in advance ~ most yoga studios require 24-hour cancellation notice! I mean, I am very good at talking myself out of going to the gym, especially on cold winter mornings, but I won't let myself to waste hard earned cash like that.

3. I plan quiet game-nights or movie-nights with family to help us all slow down, spend time together, and drink hot cocoa by the fire.
December is a very busy month. In addition to the usual routine at work and at home, we now write cards, buy and wrap gifts, and host or attend parties. List of things to do is endless, and I often find myself doing things from the moment I get up to the moment I fall asleep. Instead of enjoying the holidays, I get overwhelmed and stressed. And spending quiet evenings at home with family forces me to take time off, relax, and enjoy the true spirit of the holidays. Looking forward to watching Maleficent tonight! 

If you find yourself wrapped in the holiday glitter, these few tricks should help! And if you have a few more tricks or tips up your sleeve, I would so love to hear from you!!! 

xo, Zuma A.

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