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The holidays are probably the few times when people collectively lose all sense about their finances, outside of purchasing a new home, planning for a wedding, and preparing for a new baby. Fortunately, holiday spending is where people can have a great amount of control over how much they choose to spend.

In fact, some people opt not to spend money for the holidays at all!

While most of us have no desire to go to that extreme, almost everyone can benefit from keeping a closer eye on holiday spending. Not only does holiday spending add up, it happens year after year – eventually accumulating into an avalanche of lost earnings.

Often people let excessive holiday spending sabotage their future successes. People often start the new year with credit card debt from the previous year’s shopping binge. Why set yourself up for a poor start and very little to show for it?

What if you could channel that money into more positive, lasting endeavors? What if you could use some of that money for experiences rather than stuff and holiday decorations that you’re only going to pull out for one or two months every year?

Aside from typical big life events, think of the ways that having a budget can help you with your future successes.

The key here is to avoid letting your holiday spending sabotage your success by channeling it in positive ways. As you can see, some of the ways result in the potential for financial success and others result in personal successes through personal growth (e.g. learning a new skill). Other suggestions lead to spiritual success, or achieving spiritual harmony. Some suggestion results in the financial, personal, and spiritual successes.

Keep in mind that spiritual successes aren’t just limited to religious experiences. Events and people that ground you in the present or help you access your creative side can also function as spiritual experiences.

To get you started here are 25 ways to channel part of your holiday spending:

Channeling money for personal/health successes

  1. Tuition money or book money for continuing education. This can result in less debt!
  2. Sign up for a community college class that improves a skill set, such as learning a new language or learning about graphic design.
  3. A few sessions with a life coach about your vision and purpose, implement them and reach your potential.
  4. Attend a convention or seminar for personal growth.
  5. Down payment for a house that you plan to live in for quite some time.
  6. Move into a small home that is closer to your work. Less space means less expenses and closer to your work means less time commuting.
  7. Relocation expenses for a new city or town that you’ve always wanted to move to. The new experiences can prove to be eye-opening, not to mention helping you face your fears.
  8. Buy tools, equipment, and books to start a small kitchen garden. Healthier ingredients usually mean eating healthier and thus, a healthier lifestyle.
  9. A gym membership, a trainer, or exercise equipment (such as a bike) to get in better shape.

Channeling money for financial successes

  1. Angel funds to invest in another business that you truly believe in.
  2. Down payment for an investment property.
  3. Dress for success. If you’re looking to get promoted or change into a new career, it helps to look the part *along with* doing the work and the networking necessary to advance.
  4. Put the money towards a health savings account. This is one way to plan ahead for possible problems – knowing that you saved something can give you a peace of mind and help you bounce back quickly.
  5. Create a prototype of an invention you created, or would like to create, and then patent it.
  6. Start up funds for a new business.
  7. If you already have a business, outsource some of the work to other freelancers. This gives you more time to channel your energies in growing your business and it gives your freelancers income (one less person unemployed).
  8. Put more money into the debt you already have. You’re that much closer to having less debt.
  9. Increase the energy efficiency of your house. Higher energy efficiency means lower bills and more money to spend on positive experiences.

Channeling money for spiritual/creative successes

  1. A family reunion. Social bonding with people you are close to can be a positive spiritual experience.
  2. A getaway with you and your significant other or closest friend.
  3. Travel funds to go somewhere you’ve never been before. This is an opportunity to open your mind to new experiences and new cultures that you can take back home.
  4. A musical instrument (or any hobby-specific equipment) so that you can learn a new skill, while learning how to bring out your creative side.
  5. Donate to a cause you really care about because generosity always comes back to you.
  6. Attend a concert of someone you admire or a play that you’ve always loved. Get the best seats in the house. The experience could prove to be inspiring.
  7. Adopt a pet from the shelter. If you like animals, this can be a good way to add color into your life and inspire you in ways you would never imagine.

Some of the things in this list require months or even years of savings, but you can start saving this holiday season. What other ideas can you think of and implement within the next month?

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