How to Feel Rich During the Holidays Without Going Into Debt
- You can avoid debt during the holidays without being Scrooge.
- Spend less with more thoughtful gifts.
- Focus on the gift to yourself -- a secure financial future.
“Rich” is a pretty subjective term, isn’t it?
Just because someone seems rich, doesn’t mean they are rich, and someone who doesn’t seem rich, may feel that they are. A study by YouGov discovered that out of those who earn between $90,000 and $150,000 per year, only 9% consider themselves rich. What’s even more interesting is that 5% of that group actually say they are “poor.”
So what exactly does feeling rich mean? It may refer to feeling secure with your finances, leading to an overall feeling of safety or security in your life. When you feel rich, you may believe you have enough time and resources for the activities and goals that fulfill you, be that work, family, or leisure. You may also feel you have the means to give to others in your circle, or the in broader community.
Fortunately, you can feel rich this holiday season, no matter how much money you earn. Here are some tips on how to feel rich during the holidays without harming your financial future by going into debt.
Focus on future financial goals
The holidays are a great time to reflect on your long-term financial goals. Instead of getting lost in the pressure to buy expensive gifts that won’t last more than a month, take time to think about where you want to be in 5, 10, 15, or 20 years. Maybe you hope to own your own home or a bigger home. Perhaps you want to pay for your child’s college education, travel more, or retire.
Jot down your financial goals and create a game plan for how you’ll meet them. With a solid idea of where you are and where you’re going, you may be more likely to stay out of debt and prioritize your financial future over things like overspending on holiday gifts or treating yourself to a gadget that only brings temporary pleasure.
Gift small luxuries
Many people think of luxuries when they think of feeling rich, but you don’t have to buy your loved ones expensive treats and get into debt this holiday season to bring a sense of luxury into their life. Instead, think about small gestures that will bring a smile to their faces and allow them (and you, as the giver) to feel rich. Here are three ideas to consider.
Make breakfast in bed: Wake up early and prepare your loved one’s favorite breakfast. Then, arrange it nicely on a tray and deliver it to them in bed. What’s more luxurious than coffee in a beautiful cup brought right to you?
Clean a car: If you know a friend or family member’s car could use some TLC, go ahead and get out your bucket of water, hose, and vacuum to clean their car for them. Everyone loves driving in a sparkling clean car that feels like it’s brand new.
Babysit: Chances are you know someone that doesn’t have much free time because they have young kids. If this is the case, offer to babysit so they can run errands, go on a date night, or do anything else that lets them relax. If feeling rich includes less stress in your life, a night of relaxation is sure to make your recipient feel pampered.
Make time for your hobbies
Another way to feel rich during the holidays is to allocate time for your hobbies and interests. In the midst of the holiday craziness, give yourself a few hours during the week to participate in exercise, crafting, golf, or any other hobbies that you may have. Participating in something you love can bring a feeling of satisfaction and calm, and what can make your life richer than that? To find time, you can:
Wake up early: If you wake up an hour or even just a half hour earlier than you normally do, you’ll have additional time each day to pursue your hobbies.
Learn to say “no”: This may be tough at first but if you say no to holiday plans that you’re not interested in, you’ll find it easier to free up your holiday schedule for the things you actually enjoy.
Ask for help: Don’t be afraid to ask a spouse, child, or friend to help you watch the kids, grocery shop, clean, cook, or perform any other daily tasks that may cut into your free time. After all, rich people always have “help”, don’t they?
There’s no better time to be grateful for what you do have than the holidays. When you appreciate your life and the people and things in it, you’re more likely to feel rich than if you always think about what you’re lacking — think back to those in the survey who felt poor, even with a substantial salary. Use these tips to get started on a practice of gratitude.
Keep a gratitude journal: Every day, open up a journal and write down two or three things you’re grateful for.
Make a gratitude collage: Cut out pictures, words, and phrases from old magazines and newspapers to create a collage of what you’re grateful for and hang it somewhere you’ll see every day.
Volunteer: If you help those in need through volunteer work, you’re bound to focus on the positives rather than the negatives in your life. If you can’t give your time, and do have the budget, give your money. What could make you feel richer than giving to someone less fortunate than you?
Take control of your debt this holiday season
Debt free holidays (and a debt free lifestyle) will not only make you feel rich, you will actually become wealthier by keeping the money you spent to service debt for your own goals. If you’re struggling with debt, download our free How to Manage Debt guide to learn about your options now. This free information is a great way to start taking ownership of your money and work towards a bright financial future that allows you to feel rich every day all year long.
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