While the holidays should be a time of joy and love, we are often faced with stress during the preparation for the big day. Here are 6 tips to help you manage and reduce stress that accompanies the holidays, so that you can focus on feeling (and spreading! all the joy and love!
- Plan ahead
To keep yourself on track, first … create your plan of attack by familiarizing yourself with your current financial standing. Second… project where you will be once the holidays are over. It may sound like a stressful task to complete, but it will help you avoid unseen stress and anxiety in the future after potential impulse purchases. Third … use this planning time as a way to create your spending plan* as well. Just like that, in 3 easy steps you can limit stress before and after the holidays!
- Make a list
Make a list of the individuals you plan to purchase gifts for. If you are tight on how much you can spend (which you figured out in step 1 above), you may have to entertain making some cuts to your list, in order to stay on track.
- Set a spending limit
With your list of individuals who you will be buying gifts for, set a per-person budget for each person. This will help you stay on track in the long run.
- Shop those sales
Shop early to get the best sales and the most options. When you make your spending plan, make sure that you consider the non-sale price of items. Try as you might, you can’t get everything on sale so make it a game to see if you can find those items on sale and get excited when you save money!
- Leave items in your cart
I do a lot of online window shopping. So much so that I have come to realize that if you leave items sitting in your cart but don’t purchase them yet, the store may actually send you coupons and discounts to encourage you to complete your order. That’s what I call some productive online browsing.
- Think about services
For some individuals on your shopping list, providing your services or a service-based gift may be better than spending money on a gift they don’t appreciate. Lending your services to others is a great way to show you care. Plus, it’s the thought that counts!
*The term “spending plan” is our choice of words instead of “budget”. While budget is a much more popular and more often used term, it does not describe what you are actually doing with your money: Spending it. Money makes the world go round and we recognize that. We all create plans to spend our money.