Christmas should be filled with joy and happiness but the holidays can be a source of stress and anxiety because we just end up with a long list of expenses that need to be made. A survey, by Principal Financial Group, an investment firm, revealed that 53 percent of people feel financially stressed by holiday spending, even though more than half of the 1,000 respondents had created spending budgets.A primary source of this holiday stress stems from the pressure to meet some perfect idea of what Christmas should be. Top stressors during the holidays include lack of time, money worries, over-commercialization, pressure to provide and family get-together. The hassles of travel and worries about taking time off from work also make the list.December doesn’t have to be burdened with debt, stress or worries. Planning in advance and changing the holiday expectations to fit what you can afford to do are some of the few things that could possibly reduce most of the stress you feel. Here are a few awesome tips to keep your holiday spending in check:
1. Set up a Christmas target savings account: Dedicate an account to save for and during Christmas or open a target savings account. It allows you set a debit order to your business or salary account, an automated instruction which credits your target account with your desired amount of money at a set interval e.g., weekly/monthly and you do not have to remember to save. With a dedicated savings account, you can save ahead of time for the holiday and save during the holidays.
2. Make a list: Keeping a list can help keep you organized, let you know what to expect and keep you on budget. You would need two types of lists: a to-do list and a budget. Having a to-do list will ensure you do everything you need to do without forgetting someone or something. It’s important to go into the Christmas season with a financial plan in place so make a budget, it’s easy to overspend when you don’t know how much you should be spending or what you need to spend on.
3. Cut back on expenses: Maybe you do not need to buy different types of meats for Christmas day or make different foods, you may not have to make all new clothes or buy a new wig and honestly you do not have to decorate your house. Christmas is Christmas without all of these so you can afford to cut back. Don’t let the pressure in the air get to you, January is coming soon and there are different priorities that need to be taken care of at that time.
4. Shop early: To keep your holiday spending in check, shop early. By spreading your holiday shopping throughout the year instead of waiting for Black Friday or Christmas sales you can take advantage of sales on specific items at other times of year. As the price of food items consistently increases, it’s a good idea to buy more grocery items in bulk to save money.
5. Have your own version of Christmas:In the wise words of Timaya “This life I can’t kill myself, allow me to flex oh”. You shouldn’t let the commercialization and pressure of the season push you to over exert your pocket, put you in debt or let you stress yourself. Christmas should be what you make of it and if you can afford to go all out then by all means do that, if you cannot do not kill yourself over it, flex the way you can afford to.
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