December 14, 2016

Handling Financial Stress During the Holidays

Even though the holidays come at the same time every year and we try to plan for them, sometimes we can fall a little short. There may be extra names added to your shopping list, or your kids may have asked for something that costs a lot more than what you originally budgeted for. Either way, we have a few tips that may help you defeat the financial struggle this holiday season!

  1. Set a budget: Once you set your budget for holiday spending, stick to it! If you have a budget set and you disregard it, you are definitely going to overspend and regret it once the holidays are over. Try leaving your bank cards at home and taking just the cash you need with you when you go shopping. This way, you’ll think more about your spending decisions knowing that you have limited resources on hand.
  2. Plan your shopping: A lot of people take the shopping approach that involves them heading to the mall and wandering mindlessly in and out of stores waiting for something to catch their eye. This year, planning a gift shopping list my be your biggest defense against falling into this trap. Try looking online at store inventories or come up with gifts that you know won’t blow your budget. This way, when you go out, you aren’t caught off guard by pricing or make any impulse buys.
  3. If you can’t afford it, don’t buy it! If you have to shop for ten people, do not buy a gift for one person that is going to cost half of your set budget. Try dividing your total budget by the number of people that you have to buy for. The number that you get will give you an idea of how much money you should spend on each person.
  4. Be more creative with gift giving: Not everyone needs a gift from the mall or a a fancy jewelry store. Some people enjoy sentimental gifts that have a more personal touch. Besides, it’s the thought that counts, right? Try buying supplies to make jewelry for some of your loved ones. This will also show them how much thought and planning went into their gift!