Gift Giving Guide: Saving for the Holidays

By Marieanna Wild, Team Skidmore—Head of Community Development
Part of our “2018 Gift Giving Guides” Series

Let’s talk about love languages shall we?! And let me just start off by saying, that gift giving is definitely NOT my love language.

Let me take you back to the years when I was a little girl who jumped out of her bed on Christmas morning to try and catch Santa stealing the milk and cookies. I never caught him, but I did always find presents upon presents surrounding the tree.

Back then, it wasn’t the actual gifts that I adored the most about Christmas morning. It was the fact that for the first time all year, our family sat around in our pajamas playing games, taking pictures and laughing together about memories we made throughout the year.

You see, my love language is a mix of quality time and words of affirmation.

The hilarious thing is that *except for the presents Santa delivered* every single gift under the tree, my mom purchased. I would open a present from my brother yet he didn’t even know what he supposedly got me.

When we would go to the mall to Christmas shop, my dad and I would find ourselves sitting on the mall bench together people watching while my brother and mommasita went down the Christmas shopping list in

I was born a saver. And I believe I got it from my father!

As I grew older, I began to grow anxious around the Holidays. Not only was it hard for me to share my love through material items, but the thought of how much money I would be spending made me want to quite literally throw up.

Christmas shopping became more of a burden in my life. And I felt like the joy leading up to the Holidays was taken away from me because I was so worried about spending money.

What I’ve learned over the past year is that it’s not the actual spending that brought me the anxiety about money. It was my mindset.

If I don’t have a plan or budget before shopping, that’s when I get anxious.

Let me share another story to put this money mindset into perspective.



When I purchased my first car. I cried. Like full-blown ugly tears kind of cry. I had paid a $5k down-payment and taken out a loan in order to purchase this dream car. For weeks after I had complete buyer’s remorse. I would call my dad and ask him if he thought I could return it and get all my money back. Bless his soul as he reminded me no, actually I couldn’t do that and to get over it because I’ll be fine.

Eventually, I did get over it. And here I am 6 years later with a paid-off car loan happily driving that same exact car.

But the anxiety I had over that one purchase still haunts me. And I knew I needed to change something about my money mindset or being an adult would be really really hard.



Then came the time we knew my husband would need to purchase a new car. He travels a lot for work and so we wanted to make sure he had a reliable vehicle to get him through the Wisconsin winters. For an entire year, we saved. Each month we calculated how much we could take out of our checking and into our savings account. Being the numbers nerd that I am, I calculated how long it would take us to get to the amount we needed to walk into a dealership and pay outright for our first vehicle together.

And in November of 2017, we did just that. We drove off the Jeep dealership lot with a car we owned 100% and guess what? I had ZERO buyers remorse.

How does paying a $5K down payment on one vehicle give me buyer’s remorse? But spending over $20K on another didn’t?

Because I had a plan and a budget. I knew where our money was going before we even spent it. And that mindset shift changed EVERYTHING!

Intentionally planning has completely changed how we do life.

From that moment on I told myself I would always do a little extra planning before making any big purchases.

And for the first time last year, we created a budget for Christmas so we knew how much approximately we would be spending for the holiday season.

Can you guess what happened?

Yes, it was the very first Christmas I truly experienced joy buying gifts for others. ALL because I had a plan and a budget.

Intentional planning brought me joy back into the Holidays. And that alone is something I will forever be grateful for.

If the anxiety of spending money around the Holidays resonates with you, then we have something just for you! Click here to get your FREE Holiday Spending Survival Guide. Trust me, not only will your purse thank you but the joy that comes with it, too!

Get your FREE Holiday Spending Survival Guide.

Your pocket book will thank you!


Money Mindset for the Holidays | Intentional planning brought me joy back into the Holidays. And that alone is something I will forever be grateful for. Here’s how. | Shanna Skidmore #giftguide #holidaysavings #entrepreneur


October 31, 2018

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