November is upon us and it feels like this year has flown by faster than ever. With great optimism, we at Bona Fide are hopeful that the worst of Covid is behind us and are looking forward to getting back to normal life. With the stresses of Covid receding and the end of the year and the holidays approaching, we want to use this newsletter to focus on what can be a stressful time of year for many people. Be it gift-giving, entertaining, or feeling compelled to travel, the holiday season can bring as many difficulties as it does pleasures.
This Forbes article by fellow financial planner Liz Fraizer is chock full of stats detailing different aspects of how much people spend during the holiday season and how they feel about it. The article estimates Americans spend nearly $1,000 per person on gifts and 18% are willing to toss budgets out the window especially when considering buying for children. Considering these sobering figures, it’s easy to understand that nearly 25% of people would be happy to opt out of gift-giving all together. Regardless of where you land on the gift-giving spectrum, it’s important to remember that you have control over how much you spend. This article from Yahoo Finance details how you can get a grip on holiday spending if you’d like to avoid overspending.
If you know you are prone to getting stressed out during the holiday season, learning how to say ‘no’ can be a powerful gift. This video from Ryan Holiday dips into Stoic philosophy to frame the prospect of saying ‘no’ not as a thing that limits you, but as something that sets you free. When you make the choice to say no to one thing, you are opening up yourself to saying yes to something else. As we enter the holiday season, this is a great time to take stock of what is important to you and take steps to make decisions that protect and support those things. If time with family is your priority, then don’t feel bad turning down social gatherings. If you don’t buy into (pun intended) the consumer aspects of the holidays, express that to your loved ones and opt-out. Give yourself permission to say no.
Our podcast link this month is to a list of holiday-themed podcasts. Some are aimed at meditation and guided sleep exercises, some focus on holiday specials and stories, and there is a nice selection of links aimed at family-friendly fun. This is a list you can use any time of the year, so we highly recommend going through it and enjoying some of the great (and free) content there. For a bit of more adult content, we have a couple of other suggestions. The first is from Planet Money analyzing the Holiday Industrial Complex. If you’ve ever questioned the ‘why’ behind all the holidays we have during the year, this might be for you. Finally, if you need a little more bolstering, here is a podcast from Farnoosh Torabi giving some good financial advice in regards to getting through the holiday season without blowing up your budget.
Thanks for reading! If you are feeling stressed out this holiday season, especially in regards to your finances, please reach out! That’s why we are here. We are happy to chat with you regarding your budget, spending, or whatever else is on your mind. If you’ve enjoyed this newsletter, feel free to share it with your family and friends.
The Bona Fide Family