Friday, December 9, 2011

Happier & Healthier Holidays: Reducing Financial Stress & the Jingle Bell Blues

  • Are you feeling pressure to buy gifts for others that you cannot afford?
  • Are you still paying for items purchased during last year's holiday season?
  • Are you going into deeper debt to pay for holiday gifts and expenses?
  • Do you feel guilty about not being able to afford to buy gifts for loved ones?
  • Are you feeling anxious or depressed about finances during the holidays?

If you answered "Yes" to any or all of these questions, do not despair. You are not alone.  The holidays are a time when others may and society often places demands on everyone to spend money.  This can be particularly stressful, when you are experiencing financial challenges. 

Also, the commercial emphasis on gift purchasing may conflict with a value system of celebrating and focusing on more spiritual meanings of the holidays. Empower and permit yourself to define and determine reasonable and meaningful ways you will celebrate, without feeling  co-opted or stressed.

Here are some tips to help you feel in control of your finances and enjoy the holidays:

  • Buy only those items you can pay for, immediately or within the next 30 days.
  • Adopt a new attitude!  Some of the best holiday gifts require little or no money.
  • Spend quality time with loved ones and enjoy the gift/present of each other's presence.
  • Attend free or low cost events, such as concerts, social gatherings and worship services.
  • Get creative. Use your talents to make gifts, such as artwork, fine crafts or edible treats.
  • Provide inexpensive token gifts with sentimental value or gag gifts that others would enjoy.
  • Give gifts of service or skills, such as baby or pet-sitting, cleaning, repairing, errands, etc. 



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