The holiday season can be a stressful time. It is easy to get overwhelmed with all we have to do to prepare. Often our focus is on creating the perfect holiday instead of just enjoying it. One of the biggest stressors for many people this time is money.
Here are some tips for lessening anxiety about finances during the holiday season and sticking to a budget.
Do your homework. Compare prices for items you want to buy at different stores and online. Take advantage of sales and check if there is free shipping and gift wrapping.
Avoid ‘buy now and pay later’ promotions. Often these have hidden clauses and could end up costing you more. If you go this route, read the fine print and ask questions.
Start early. Avoid waiting until the last minute to do your holiday shopping. Last minute shopping can lead to feelings of anxiety making it easier to make emotional and impulsive purchases.
Avoid credit cards. The simplest way to avoid unwarranted credit and card debt during the holidays is to use cash. Using cash makes you more conscious of every purchase and how much you are spending.
Stick to a budget. Before you go shopping, decide how much money you can afford to spend and stick to it. Consider giving homemade gifts or donating to a charity in someone’s name.
Evaluate. Did you stick to your budget? Determine what you can do differently. Examine your spending for the holiday season and start saving for the next one!