Last Christmas, I gave you my heart.

The very next day you gave it away.

And now the rest of you have that song in your head.

YOU’RE WELCOME.

Alright, I came here for a purpose. At the moment I currently have 6 tabs open. Tabs consisting of Amazon, Sephora, Target, Old Navy, and of course Gmail (to track my purchases), it’s that time of year again folks. Aw yes, the holidays.

The holidays in all its mass commercial consumption of never ending spending glory. As of 10:40am on this 12th of December, I have not finished my shopping. To be honest, I don’t believe I was fully prepared for the holidays. I mean who is really prepared for them? The holiday decorations started as early as late August and as of now are in full effect. They were coming whether I liked it or not, and I was going to have to deal with it.

I’ll be honest. I love the holidays. Who doesn’t love an excuse to spread holiday cheer? Not to mention shower the people you care about with items that remind you of them. Holidays are basically the time to go absolutely overboard all for the sake of being jolly. You see it everywhere. In the over abundance of lights, decorations, and yes the festive gluttony of food. Oh, how we love our precious time together. While our bank accounts plummet, we manage to still enjoy this joyous time of year. After all it is the holidays, we’re allowed to over indulge during this time.  Spending time with the people that we love, enjoying every minute of the holidays.

Spend, spend, spend.

Every holiday season, I give myself a budget. After budgeting out my personal expenses (bills, necessities, etc.), I line out an idea of what I plan to spend. This of course is just a general idea. None of which actually works. Often times I over spend, over buy, and put myself in a little holiday debt. With the parties, you’re already factoring out the costs of what you’re bringing, bringing for the host and if you’re me, what you’re wearing to the party. Then comes the December birthdays, the birthdays that don’t associate themselves with the holidays but rather are a holiday in themselves. On top of that you have the mountains of holiday cards with accompanied stamps. Then comes the gifts, equipped with wrapping paper, cards, and more holiday cheer. By the end of the season, after the overwhelming allure of the holiday, you are absolutely wiped out. I am wiped out just by reading this. My bank account has come to a standstill. Don’t get me wrong. I love it. If I were a millionaire, I would spend every last cent to make people happy. Sadly, I am not a millionaire, therefore I am working through this holiday very slowly.

Over the years, I have over spent. The power of the holiday has compelled me to over spend! I buy way too many things, I buy too much wrapping paper and on top of it all, I over spend on myself. Sure the holiday is all about giving rather than receiving but shit, I need some things too! Which comes to my own personal dilemma. When does the spending ever really stop? As much as I want to erase my mountain of debt, I can’t help but add to it. When it comes to the holidays, who is going to stop me for buying things for people that I care about? Well of course the bill collectors are but still. It’s this cycle that can’t be stopped. You save this money for months, then in an instant it’s gone. That’s what I’ve always done. I saved to the point that I can’t save anymore. Then December hits and it’s gone.

Paycheck, savings, gone.

The only person I can really blame is myself. I do it because of this need to give. This desire to spend and not ask for anything in return. Mainly I do it because at the end of the day, it truly does make me happy to see people happy. Even if it’s just to see myself happy after months of not spending money. I of all people know I shouldn’t be spending money. Somewhere between the countless Christmas songs, the twinkling lights and the nostalgia, I just can’t seem to help myself. Who can really? It’s just one month of non-stop spending and come January we wash our debt slate clean. Just one rigorous cycle of spending and then the cycle of saving starts all over again.

Holidays are harder when you’re in debt. You have to over think every purchase, go over everything you really want to get, and more importantly only focus on getting the things you need. Gone are the days of spontaneous spending. Gone are the day of over indulgence. Gone are the days of drained bank accounts and patiently awaiting the next paycheck. This holiday season will be different. I have limits to my spending. Budgets are placed for a reason, whether I like it or not. More importantly as much as I want to over indulge for the people that I love, I just can’t. Sometimes our own person sacrifices come with a price. My price is the need to stop spending. Becoming creative with my spending and finding ways to save money. I wish it were easy. I wish I could just take my whole savings and spend every last cent of it. Sadly I can’t. Trust me, there are so many awesome, beautiful, sparkly things that I want. I just can’t have them. Not right now. Not at this time. I started this holiday season out differently. Planning, budgeting, and even going over the shopping cart item by item. Finding the promo codes, taking advantage of the free shipping, and saving items for another time. Removing items from my basket and just getting only the things I need. It’s a harder process but I know my bank account will thank me for it.

There it is, all of it. Last Christmas, I gave you my heart and now I’m left with a mountain of debt. Here’s to a holiday of being more creative and frugal with my spending. Wish me luck, guys!

 

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