By Kyle Kiffer

Let’s face it, the last couple of weeks have been really rough. We have had an intense Presidential election, protests all around the country, and a constant 24/7 news cycle that seems to always highlight the worst in people and this great country we live in. It is my goal not to focus on any of these negative situations.

Instead, it is time to look into something positive. I cannot believe I am typing this right now, but Thanksgiving is a little more than a week away followed by Christmas and New Year’s. Wal-Mart has been selling Christmas trees for a number of weeks now, so I guess the Holidays are officially here!  The time for family, big meals, shopping for gifts for one another, and an increased willingness to give will quickly be upon us. 

We are about to enter one on of my favorite seasons! However, over the past few years I have learned to manage this time (and ultimately money) in an efficient and structured way. If you have struggled over the holidays by stressing out too much, not having enough cash in the account, or have had a hard time maintaining a healthy lifestyle through the months of November and December, this post is for you!

Here are four tips to think about RIGHT NOW to help you remain sane this holiday season!

#1 – Budget Budget Budget

Budgeting is something that is important to me (which can be a series of blog topics and posts itself). Making a number of mistakes when I graduated college (not adhering to a budget at all); I have slowly learned how a simple budget can do a world of good! Following a budget and taking control of your money not only helps your pocketbook as an individual, but it can also help your relationship with family and friends. Not feeling overwhelmed by your upcoming credit card payment, or needing to grab extra shifts at work, can help you invest more time in the people that you love during the holidays! 

Whether planning to host Thanksgiving dinner this year to buying a multitude of gifts for family members or friends for Christmas, it is important to have a financial plan!  If you pinpoint an amount you are willing to spend to buy that Turkey or purchase the newest children’s toy, it will help keep you disciplined to not spend more!

This way you will not be overwhelmed at the check-out counter. If you think and plan beforehand, you can even have a chance to team up with friends or family to help lessen the cost. There is no shame in asking others to take care of parts of the meal or team up on a present. This is the season of giving and your family members will understand and help!

#2 – Do not forget to work out

During the holidays there are two excuses for people not to exercise; it is either too cold to go outside or there is not enough time. As I would tend to agree this time of year, we still cannot be complacent. If there is no time to go to the gym, then wake up 30 minutes earlier and do a quick workout in your living room. Making time to work out is also setting aside time for yourself, which will help you de-stress! Additionally, you will feel better eating an extra portion (or two) of your aunt’s delicious fried turkey!

#3 – Drink Water (helps with overeating)

In terms of eating, H2O can go a long way. Since you will already be tempted and willing to eat (and drink) copious amounts of food this Holiday season, water can be a lifesaver. Drinking water in a greater amount that you are used will help break down the excess calories you are consuming. Go with this simple suggestion; drink half your body weight in ounces. For example, I weigh 180 pounds, so I will drink 90 ounces of water throughout the day during Thanksgiving and Christmas dinner! Plus, drinking a lot of water will in turn tell your body to stop overeating and may help eliminate that post meal nap!

#4 – Decide on one. Drink in excess or eat in excess.

Growing up, whether at Church or from family members, we all know eating or drinking in excess is not an ideal way to live our lives. Excess in anything can have a negative impact on our state of mind. But let’s face it; it all goes out the window when we are with our family and friends! So let’s make a compromise, choose to either eat in excess or drink in excess during those large parties! I know this is probably not the best advice, but I guarantee it will help your waistline!

If you cannot attain all four of these tips this holiday season, then pick one! I guarantee it will help you be more focused and enjoy more time with loved ones! 



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Kyle Kiffer is a graduate from Hiram College and works as a Auditor. He is a Head Swim coach and loves everything about Cleveland, Ohio. An avid runner, cyclist, and swimmer, Kyle has run six marathons and has completed two half IronMan Triathlons.  Kyle enjoys traveling with his wife Jen and the memories they are making together, whether that be traveling in another country, city, or bar.

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