If you’ve ever experienced buyer’s remorse after an over-indulgent holiday season, you aren’t alone. It’s easy to get carried away with so many demands on your time and money squeezed into a short period of time. Even after making a list and checking it twice, there always seems to be more month than money.

Use this year as an opportunity to shake up expectations. If there are things you’ve been wanting to change but felt you couldn’t because “it’s how we’ve always done it,” now is your chance.

 

Identify what’s most important to you

Grab your phone or a pen and paper. Get comfy and ask yourself these questions:

  • How do I want to feel during the holiday season?
  • How do I want to feel afterward?
  • What replenishes or energizes me?
  • What depletes me or makes me feel drained?
  • Who replenishes vs. depletes me?

 

Brainstorm new ways to do the holidays

Now that you know what’s most important to you, this is the fun part of dreaming up new ways to make those things happen. Get creative and let your imagination go.

 

Select your favorites

Now it’s time to narrow it down. Part of keeping the season enjoyable is not saying “yes” to everything. How do you know how much you can handle? Two words: “time” and “money.” We all have only a certain amount of each, so let them be your guide, no emotions attached. If you are in the common situation of having more time at home and less money than in previous years, this is where your imagination comes in. If creating special experiences for your loved ones is most important to you, make that the priority over gifts.

 

What if you still need a little financial boost?

While we do not recommend borrowing money to splurge (during any season), there are many reasons you may be considering a loan during the holidays:

“I have some money set aside, but I don’t want to spend it since it gives me a sense of security”

“I don’t want to pay a lot of interest with a pay-day loan or credit card”

“I have unexpected expenses that took a chunk of my savings”

If you can relate to any of these, the good news is there are options. A personal loan has much lower interest rates than other loans, which means you won’t end up paying a ton in interest. Remember step 3 above where you narrowed down your favorites based on time and money? When you apply for a personal loan you’ll ask to borrow only what you need, preventing that feeling of dread that can come with a growing credit card balance. With a personal loan you’ll know how much your payments will be each month. Even if you can’t predict the weather or other “what-ifs,” having this one under control can help put your mind at ease. What better way to begin the new year?