For many of us, the holidays can be very stressful. All we can think about is money and how we have to spend so much to please our family and friends. So when you think of these holidays, what comes to mind?
We make a ton of memories with our family, eat great food, decorate the Christmas tree and make delicious cookies for Santa…but then, there is also the panic-inducing stress.
According to Heathline, more than 60% of people say their stress level increases over the holiday vacations. Imagine you have to spend money on a plane ticket because you live miles away from your parents and on top of that, you have to also buy them presents. This is a melting pot of stress and disaster. Over half of people are stressed about money during the holidays, based on a 2016 poll from Experian. The same survey also says that 56% of people said they invest a lot during the holidays.
This time of year comes with a lot of added expenses.
Here Are a Few Tips to Decrease holiday stress as Christmas draws near, caused by financial woes:
1. Bring on the Secret Santa
Skip the strain of figuring out what to get everyone in your family and you’ll possibly afford it. Organize a gift exchange. Maybe all you really can afford is $50. Set rules and pick a comfortable price range for everyone. The guidelines remove the stress and politics amongst relatives with priorities and budgets.
2. No More Gift Exchange
The holidays are a time to spend time with your loved ones. But once you start running the numbers, you may wish you didn’t love quite so lots of folks. Out of your kids, nieces, nephews, parents, spouse, cousins, aunts and uncles… you also have groups of friends, co-workers, customers, your doorman, the kids’ teachers…
Your shopping list can grow quite quickly. Don’t be afraid to be the person at the office to indicate a “no-presents” policy, or suggest a supper with friends rather than a gift market. You can run away from the expense of gifts, if everyone is on the same page.
3. DIY All Of Your Presents
Perhaps you are good at making things. Why not DIY all of your presents? This can be a fun way for everybody to contribute their abilities . You can also bake cookies and other delicious things – people love a good treat!
4. Avoid Last-Minute Shopping
Last-minute shopping is just an expensive ball of anxiety that you don’t need right now. When you plan and write down exactly what and where to buy things, it creates simplicity in your life. Why wait for the last minute deals? Sometimes those deals aren’t worth fighting for.
5. Save Money on Kids’ Gifts
Remember when you were a kid and all you ever wanted was an endless amount of gifts under the tree? Yes, the more the merrier. As parents, doesn’t the tree look great and full when there are a ton of gifts under it? No one wants a bare looking tree!
Why not fill the empty spots under the tree with cheap items the children will love. Shop at the dollar store, you’ll be surprise to see there are some good cheap alternative toys for the kids in your family! Thrift shops are great for entertaining dress-up clothes for children. Think outside the box. Kids play with toys for a small amount of time, no need to spend so much on something they will quickly forget in a few weeks.
6. Reduce Travel Stress
Traveling is horrible for a lot of folks — especially around the holidays! The plane tickets have skyrocketed and the long lines at TSA can be excruciating. Plan ahead! We already know we need to go see the parents for the holidays, why wait until the last minute? Book your flights early.
Above all, remind yourself you are supposed to be celebrating! Prioritize time together with family and friends. Enjoy the little things. Memories are free!
If it’s stressing you out, it’s probably not worth your time — or cash.