Getting overwhelmed with the thought of the impending festivities that are occur in the last few months of the year is something that many moms can relate to.
Like me, many of you will have sent your kids back to school and rejoiced in being able to reclaim some of your time for yourself!
Like me, your joy might have been somewhat short-lived on realizing that the busiest time of the year is here again.
With most of the celebrations and family get togethers all slotted into the final three months of year, this last quarter can send moms into a frenzied mood as we rush and dash to get this and cook that!
Why Moms Are Especially Busy In Q4
Moms are always busy! That’s a given. But moms are especially busy towards the end of the year because the favorite time of year for your kids is here:
I refer to these three events as HTC. HTC will keep you going for the next 12 weeks.
Many of these events involve a lot of food! So moms, if you are fed up of being in the kitchen the whole time, there’s more cooking on the way.
These events also involve gift giving and, as in the case of Halloween, a lot of dressing up and fun activities as well.
How to Organize Your Time & Money To Cope With Halloween, Thanksgiving, Christmas
It is possible to enjoy these events and get out the other end alive and in one piece with your sanity intact.
These are huge tasks in themselves. Just planning for Halloween is like a mini-project in itself.
And that’s the secret to getting organized. Treating each occasion as though it were a mini-project. Set milestones, dates, activities and watch your progress. You don’t want to go over time or over budget.
Your children will need their Halloween night planned out so that everything is ready to go on October 31st. You definitely do not want to go over budget either, because that way only leads to stress.
Over time and over budget? What’s that I hear you say?
When it comes to dealing with HTC, you have to bear in mind that there are two parts to consider for each:
Things to consider:
* Only you will know how much of your time is going to be taken up. Further, if you are a host, the onus is on you to prepare and provide the food, whether it be for a Halloween party or a Thanksgiving dinner.
* Buying gifts, buying Halloween party supplies and treats, buying food and drink are all going to cost money
You need to be good at getting organized with both.
Time Organization Tips for Reclaiming Your Sanity
1) Plan ahead – make judicious use of planning tools. Use your calendars and notebooks to forge a plan.
Try to prepare for Halloween from the end of September.
Work from lists where you have jotted down what costumes you will need, whether you need to buy new ones or whether you can recycle existing ones. Jot down what your treats and party supplies will be.
Put date estimates against each. So you should have a date by when you expect to have your Halloween costumes sorted out. You should also have a date for when you will have ordered the party supplies and another date for when you will go shopping for food.
Do the same for Thanksgiving and Christmas and plan each a month before they occur.
2) Get your family to help out. Get your husband and kids involved in preparing the food and tidying the house
3) Never say “No” when offered help of any kind, even from your guests. Remember, you need time off too
Financial Organization Tips for Making Your Money Go Further
1) Plan a financial budget. Write down how much money you will need for each of these occasions.
How much will this Halloween cost you? How much do you expect to spend this Thanksgiving? Try to gauge a realistic estimate for the cost of food, drink and gifts.
What about Christmas? This is usually the biggest expense in many families because we have a lot more gifts to buy for the people in our lives.
2) Stick to your financial budget. This is where many may get stuck. Creating a budget might give you a nice and warm feeling inside but you must stick to that budget, otherwise, what’s the point in having a budget at all? The reason you might not like this bit is because you need to exercise discipline over your finances. It’s easy to spend money we haven’t got with our plastic cards.
3) Shop online – for your gifts is a smart way to shop. You will be able to compare prices easily online and also be able to take advantage of free shipping deals.
Remember, when shopping online, the biggest advantage is that goods will be delivered to your door! You will be saving TIME!
We often think in terms of saving MONEY but saving TIME is infinitely more important because time cannot be replenished.
So, by shopping online means you can spend the time you’d have spent out shopping for gifts, doing something else and you won’t have to carry the goods home either!
Knowing what’s coming is half the fight. Going out and getting all the tasks done is the other half. By organizing your time and money in this way, you are on the way to having a lot of fun in the months ahead.
Good luck with your celebrations!
Shelley Kim is the mother of three beautiful children and the founder of 1stToysOnline.com, a website that showcases toys for children, such as the New Monster High Dolls