Boxing Day: Five tips to keep the merry in the holiday

Believe it or not, Boxing Day does have a history that isn’t about shopping.  The day after Christmas was traditionally the day that servants and tradespeople had off, and they received a gift from their employers – their Christmas Box.  It is now a bank holiday, and an opportunity to spend an extra day with family and friends, relaxing and eating leftovers. In recent history, Boxing Day has become a day for massive shopping expeditions. Post-holiday sales used to start in January, but in the last few decades, sales have begun on the 26th.  This shopping day now rivals the American Black Friday with early openings, insane crowds, long lines ups and anti-social behaviour.  Electronics stores, in particular, will have 50-100 people in lines for hours before the stores open. Crazy, I know, and I invite you to skip the chaos and the possibility of overspending.  However, if you are determined to head out to the stores, have fun and start with these five tips. Decide how much you will spend Know your numbers – what you are willing to spend and what your stopping point is.  Consider leaving the credit cards at home and using cash.  It will help you stick to your plan. When you run out of your planned money, go home! Do your research Heading out to wander around the mall with no plan is a recipe for overspending.  Be clear on what you want to purchase.  Check in to see if it fits your overall goals and be clear on what a regular price is so you know if you are getting a deal...

A holiday gift for you

Wow – there has been so much going on around here! The response from the Blast Through Your Financial F-Words webinar has been amazing! I have had so many requests for the recording to re-listen, or because of busy schedules. We decided to make it happen – a litte gifty to you! If you missed out, you can still get access by registering here: www.financialf-words.com. I was honoured to share the stage with some amazing speakers at MoMondays in Barrie, ON this week. We also raised $240 for Christmas Cheer, a local organization helping families at the holidays. It was so moving to hear the stories, and to share my personal Christmas story with the amazing audience. I am pleased to share it with you as this weeks article. Although it is not about money, it is about building a prosperous life. Read on to watch the video or read the story. Merry Christmas! Have a fantastic holiday week. Blessings to you and...

Grace Under Fire: A Christmas Story

Silver Bells, Silver bells, its Christmas time in the city Ring a ling, hear them ring Soon it will be Christmas Day. Mom hadn’t been home for 3 months. She had missed the trees changing colours and cleaning out out the garden and taking out the dock. She hadn’t been able to come to my University graduation and missed the busy season in their business. She had missed the first snowfall of the season. The house was felt empty with just Dad in it. With Shelley newly married and Laura on a six-month overseas adventure I decided to move home after grad. Things had been on hold for months, and now that the December snows were falling, it looked like things might start moving again. What we were hoping for was that Mom would be able to come home for Christmas You see, on September 10th, my Mom had been in a terrible car accident. Fortunately the other drivers only had minor injuries, but Mom was broken up like Humpty Dumpty. Both arms, both legs and her pelvis were broken. The doctors were much better than all the kings horses and men, and they had pieced Mom back together with pins and plates and a hope and a prayer. She had been in the hospital for 3 months and we wanted her home for Christmas. I’ll be home for Christmas, you can count on me … So here’s the deal – to leave the hospital, you have to be able to transfer. Right … be able to go from the bed to the chair. And to do that, you...

Here we go again!

I can’t believe that it is less than 2 weeks before Christmas!  I love this season.  I notice how people take a moment to say thank you, to smile and send good wishes and to share their wealth (however small it feels) with others who may not be as fortunate. I also appreciate that this time of year feels really busy!  With that in mind, I want to extend a big THANK YOU to the lucky people who joined me on my new webinar on Monday night.  The response has been really great … so much so that I am doing an encore presentation – Friday December 13th at noon Eastern/3pm Pacific.  My little gift to you! Register at www.financialf-words to get the link to join in. If you are still shopping, read on below for some ways to finish the list without breaking the...

Think outside of the box-store

It is mid-December and you have been rocking the malls.  The funds are running thin, and you still have some people on your list.  Here are 3 ways to give awesome gifts without blowing the budget. 1.  Make something fun and creative There are so many easy, fun and creative gifts you can make and give at a really reasonable price.  Make up some vanilla extract and vanilla  sugar and gift them in pretty bottles from the dollar store. Use an old mayonnaise jar to create one of these fab gifts in a jar from Kerry at Squawkfox.com.  I love this one for a 5-6 year old. Put together a themed gift basket for a cook, baker, gardener or beach-traveller. 2.  Re-gift something really great The art of re-gifting is all in the quality of the re-gift.  Be upfront that it is a re-gift, and make it really good.  Instead of one new book, give a stack of 8 great books from your shelf. Skip a store bought gift for a re-gift of an out-grown pair of skis, snowboard or skates.   One of the best re-gifts I ever got was a hand-me-down La-z-boy chair – way more than I normally would have received, and it cost the giver nothing.  Yipee! 3. Create an Experience Put together some simple items and an invitation to an experience. Family Cheesy Movie night. Pick up a few old cheesy movies from the bargain bin or your collection and package it up with popcorn, jellybeans and a cozy blanket to make a family fun night in a box. Nuit Romantique. Use a pretty box to...

Santa will bring it, Mommy: managing expectations at Christmas

So, you have completed your Christmas budget, and decided how much you want to spend on the holidays. To make it fit with your other goals, you have decided to spend less than you have in the past.  So, how do you tell the kids? (Haven’t done it yet? Find it in Renegotiating the Rules) One of the big challenges that parents face is managing expectations around the holidays.  The messages from media and community are so often about gifts, stuff and spending, especially with Black Friday sales moving north.  Parents particularly feel caught between their desires to give their kids what they want and spending what make sense in their household.  And then Santa comes into the mix, and the pressure is on. “It’s not how much we give but how much love we put into giving.” – Mother Teresa Here are 4 helpful tips in how to manage expectations for the holidays. Talk about how Santa works.  You can set the expectations of what Santa might bring by talking about what he has in stock, how busy the elves are and how Santa has a budget per family just like you do. Remind the kids of a bigger family goal – it might be a family holiday, a renovation to your home or replacing your car.  You could even make a little card for each child reminding them that part of their gifts is more money going towards your big family goal. The kids will benefit from learning delayed gratification, especially if the goal is something every wants. Create an invitation to a family outing as a...