With the holiday season barreling toward us, it’s easy to be trapped in the land of not enough. Instead, make clever choices that help you source the money for happy holidays.
Not enough money. Not enough resources. Not enough clients. Not enough… well, you get the picture. Sadly, what we focus on, grows, and so the not enough-ness becomes magnified, especially during the hectic holiday season.
Even the Nutcracker might grind his teeth when he figures out Clara is worried about the number of nuts in her bank box. It’s like everything in the imaginary land of fear and money: we paste on a smile even as we cringe. The thought of travel expenses, gift-giving, and specialty menus threaten to destroy our budgets and fragile sense of self-worth.
Forget pictures of sugarplums dancing in our heads. Like misfit toys, we’re focused on worry. Not to say the problems with the economy are imaginary. Like all things government, the recent election has far-reaching implications on the mindset of everyone who spends and earns.
Comfort and joy? Bah, humbug. It’s as obvious as the midnight clear that present uncertainties suggest the wisdom of hoarding resources. Lack is on lots of minds. In actuality, hoarding money or dwelling on what one does not have makes it well nigh impossible to feel one iota of gratitude – or to create more of what you need.
If you don’t believe me, ask the Grinch. He’ll be around in a week or two for his annual visit.
Hope Is Headed Your Way
Really, it’s time to call in a higher level of consciousness around our holiday experience, and around money. I’m calling in hope.
Hope is needed to save the holiday season. Together, you and I are going to change our thinking about the way we can source abundantly throughout the holiday season. No lumps of coal in our stockings. In a non-literal sense, we’re holding space for silver and gold and presents under every single tree.
So please accept this holiday present from me to you, offered in love and trust and from a place of delight that’s merry and bright. You’ll be surprised how many monetary resources you actually have lying around. I know I am, every time I try this tactic to create that teeny bit of extra cash for special treats.
Here is my faithful list of 11 tried and true ways to immediately create more money and positive energy all around during the holiday season (none of which require credit cards):
- Collect all the change from around your house. Then, take it to the bank and turn it into cash so you can carry it in your wallet and immediately feel richer.
- Take an inventory of all your unused gift cards. Those go in your wallet, too, along with my urging to go out and use them immediately to do something nice for yourself or someone you love.
- Take a look at your subscriptions and memberships. Is there anything there you can let go? Honestly, I find all those perfect women pictured in magazines with their perfect kids and immaculate homes a bit depressing, anyway.
- Close out unused accounts, and consolidate the money into one place. Often, bank or credit union accounts require a minimum balance, so those little chunks of money could add up.
- Collect outstanding loans from family and friends. This tactic feels a bit weird, but when you’ve addressed the matter, you’ll find you feel much better about breaking bread across from them at Grandma’s house.
- Sell things you no matter want or need. Craigslist, ebay, the classifieds, or an interested friend may help you clear space and source the resources you desire.
- Clip coupons for everything from gifts to groceries. If you don’t know this already, your favorite retailers often send great coupon deals in their email communications. It’s not unusual to get 50 percent off the already marked 50% off rack. So that $100 gift just magically became… $25.
- Cut out unnecessary expenditures. I confess, I’ve got a serious coffee habit. On busy days when I’m networking or meeting colleagues for work sessions, I can spend $30 easily on caffeinated beverages – and repeat the spending patter regularly. If I were my client, I’d suggest making this an exception, not a rule. So I’m cutting back on the café au lait, making a good pot of coffee at home, and socking those dollars into my bank account.
- Use buy now, pay later options. These types of options, popularized by PayPal, allow you to defer payment on gift items for up to 90 days. This tactic works great if you budget appropriately and pay on time.
- Take out a small signature loan. If you pay a small loan back over time, you can actually build your credit and get yourself out of a tight spot. A caution: don’t try this one if you’re out of work, or if your expenses always exceed your income.
- Don’t barter. Ask people to pay in cash so that you can source what you need from your own expenditures of energy.
May you enjoy an abundantly blessed holiday, and may you source more than you need.
Sherri L. McLendon, M.A., is owner-founder and managing director of Professional Moneta International, LLC, a marketing public relations consultancy. She also coaches feminine leaders who cultivate an abundance mindset when marketing their businesses at http://www.professionalmoneta.com.
An earlier version of this updated article appeared in WNC Woman Magazine.