If you’re looking at your diary and wondering how you will survive the party fatigue (not to mention the cost) of the run-up to Christmas, you’re not alone. A survey of 700 people revealed that four out of 10 of us are ambivalent towards Christmas parties with a fifth of people actively disliking them. What we can perhaps learn from this rather depressing statistic is that a glut of celebration at one particular time of the year is not as beneficial to our happiness as a series of smaller celebrations throughout the year.
Research by Fred Bryant, a social psychologist at Loyola University Chicago and author of Savoring: A New Model of Positive Experience, reveals that rather than waiting until big annual events such as birthdays or Christmas to celebrate, our short and long term happiness is better boosted by mini celebrations. Taking a few moments to mark the occasion when small, but good things happen, such as meeting a big deadline or finishing a home improvement project, apparently improves our levels of optimism and helps us to cope with stress more effectively.
In financial terms, it makes sense to to spread a little of your festive budget for celebrations throughout the year too. Budgeting a set amount each month for impromptu celebrations means there is always something soon to look forward to and it helps to decrease the sense of post-Christmas blues that have many of us so depressed in January.
It’s up to you of course, but do talk to your Serenity Financial Advisor about getting a good balance. Having guilt free funds in place to enjoy a simple meal out at a local pub to celebrate getting through a tough week at work, or to arrange a little family get together to appreciate the kids getting good grades are all simple, fairly low cost investments that could go a long way to making your whole life that little bit more gratifying.