The holidays are a notoriously busy time of year and can be extremely stressful from a time management point of view. Don’t add to your financial stress by letting your holiday spending get out of control.
Here are some tips on how to de-stress this holiday, both financially and mentally.
“Having a detailed list with gift items, per-person budget and likely stores in which to find the gifts will help you feel more organized, which can go a long way to keeping stress levels down. However, if you neglect to bring your list with you or if you veer from your list when you get in the store, you are threatening your ability to stay on budget,” says Jeff Schwartz, executive director, Consolidated Credit Counseling Services of Canada.
Centralize your shopping
To best manage your time and your shopping budget, consider doing your shopping on a single day. If you are able to take a day off work during the week to dedicate to your shopping, the crowds will be thinner and you can get a lot more done in a lot less time.
When you are less rushed, you are less likely to stray from your budget with impulse purchases. You can also save money in gas by actually mapping your shopping out.
Learn to say no
“There is no rule that says that you have to attend every holiday party or event that you are invited to. Not only is holiday party going a source of additional expenses, filling up your calendar can create stress as well. Don’t underestimate the mental health value of downtime,” says Schwartz.
In much the same way that you set a budget for your spending, set a budget for your time. Decide how many events you’ll attend and after that, politely decline. Relish the pleasure of a no-cost, relaxing evening at home in the midst of the busy season.
Resist the pressure
Runaway spending and associated financial stress can come about by “trying to keep up with the Joneses.” The holiday season can be a very emotional time and it is also a time that people are extremely critical of themselves, especially if they are comparing themselves to others. Overspending in an effort to show status will not make you feel better. All it will do is create additional stress and negative emotions when those bills arrive in January.
Count your blessings about what you do have instead.
Diet, sleep and exercise all seem to go by the wayside during the busy season, which is only going to create more mental stress for you at the end of the day. Try to stick to your regular routine as much as possible. It will make you feel more in control and give you more energy to stay on budget.
Engage with others
The holidays can be a tough time for people, especially if you are struggling with grief, loneliness or other emotional problems. The temptation to spend in order to fill an emotional hole is strong.
If you feel vulnerable emotionally, you may be vulnerable financially. Stop this problem before it starts by making sure that you are connecting regularly with support from family and friends to help you through the season- debt free.
Is your holiday spending digging you deeper in debt? The only way to dig yourself out of debt is to change your direction. Call us today at or visit our free online debt analysis and we will help you to get on the right path.