Monday, November 25, 2013

Happier Holidays: Managing Financial Stress

Happier Holidays
Reducing Financial Stress and Increasing Enjoyment

·        Are you feeling stress or 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.  Here are 12 tips to

help you enjoy the holidays and feel in control of your finances.

  • Set and stick to a budget; Pay cash; and Avoid credit expenditures.
  • Shop online for items that cost more in brick and mortar stores.
  • Spend quality time with loved ones and enjoy the gift of each other’s  presence.  
  • Attend free or low cost events such as concerts, social gatherings, community programs, and worship services. 
  • Use your creative talents to make gifts such as artwork, fine crafts or edible treats.
  • Provide inexpensive token, recycled or gag gifts that convey special meaning and joy.
  •  Give gifts of service or skills, such as baby or pet-sitting, cleaning, repairing, etc. 
  • Try more manageable gift exchange ideas, such as drawing only one person’s name, as   opposed to buying a gift for every family or group member.
  • Save up for holiday spending each year, such as participating in a savings club.
  • Scale down and find ways to share the expenses of holiday entertaining.
  • Shop for holiday gifts out of season or during special sales to get lower prices.
  •  Instead of a group gift exchange, make a collective contribution to a charity.


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