The holidays can bring financial stress for many of us. We are bombarded with advertisements for toys, electronics, appliances, and many other things we can do without. Ensuring we are responsible with our spending can be especially hard during the holidays. Here are some ways to ease the financial stress that comes with the holiday season.
Know that you are not alone
Nearly 3 out of 5 people feel financially stressed during the holidays. Chances are your friends and family are feeling the same stresses you are about spending during the holiday season. Don’t feel that you have to “keep up with the Jones’.” It is important for you to stay within your means. Your friends and family will understand and should respect you for being financially responsible. Have an honest conversation with your friends and family and set limits together for holiday gift-giving Discuss other low-cost ways you may celebrate the holiday season.
Establish a budget and track it
Knowing how much you are able to spend is key to reducing the financial stress of the holidays. Create a holiday budget. Figure out how much you are able to spend without going outside your means. Create lists of your expenses, including gifts, holiday meals, and travel expenses you may incur during the holiday. Determine how much you can spend on each item in your list and then track how you are doing. Keeping track and knowing that you are on a budget is another key way of reducing financial stress during the holiday.
Be on the lookout for deals
There are many different sales, discounts, and rewards programs that are available during the holiday season. Take the time to learn about them. When you decide to purchase an item, search the internet for the best price. There are also new tools such as ChatGPT, Copilot, and Google Shopping that can help you. These tools can help you find the best price and gifts that are in your price range. Take the time to use them. You can save a lot of money and maybe be able to find a unique gift that fits into your budget.
Take the time for self-care
During times of stress, it can be easy to make bad decisions. It is very important for you to take time for self-care, especially during the holidays. There are many things you can do to practice self-care. Most of these things require little or no money but just require you to take some time. Eat well, meditate, go for a brisk walk, or do something else you might enjoy. Before making any purchase decision, take your time, have a clear mind, and look at your budget. By doing this, you will ease the financial stress of the holiday.
Remember what the holiday is all about
The holiday season has been highly commercialized, from early Black Friday to Cyber Monday, all the way through New Year’s Day. The season is not about buying the best gifts but spending time with family and friends. The time you spend with your family is more valuable than any gift you could purchase. Although you cannot assign a monetary value to your time, you should consider it the ultimate gift you can give your friends and family.
Keeping the above tips and considerations in mind will help to reduce your financial stress during the holiday season. We wish you the best as you navigate through the holidays and wish you a very happy holiday season with your friends and family.