The holiday season is upon us! And with it comes a whole lot of stress. You may already be feeling the pressure to start spending- or the anxiety of realizing how much everything is going to cost. If this sounds like you, swipe to learn some tips for managing financial stress during the holiday season.
1. Breathe and remember that this is an especially difficult time of year: even if you struggle with financial stress year-round, this time of year often brings up a lot more than the rest of the year. Reminding yourself that this particular stress won’t last forever may help you better manage those feelings.
2. Limit the amount that you check your budget or bank account: it’s totally normal to find yourself checking your balance more often when you’re worried about finances. However, this often increases feelings of stress (especially when we can’t totally control that balance number.) See if you can limit your checking to a couple of times a day or only right before you make a purchase.
3. Comparison is normal: you are not alone if you feel disappointed or envious when you see what others can afford. Try to remind yourself that the holidays are about so much more than decorations, vacations or expensive gifts!
4. It’s okay to say “no” or suggest a more affordable idea: you don’t have to explain yourself or your finances to anyone. Whether it’s an event, tickets, or an pricey gift, it is enough to simply say “Sorry, I can’t do that.” If “no” feels too hard, try suggesting another activity or idea that feels more do-able to you.
5. Why not organize a white elephant gift exchange? This fun, low-cost option works for families, friend groups, and workplace settings alike. Simply set a maximum budget to spend per gift and instruct everyone to bring one gift to add to the pile. Players take turns opening gifts from the pile or “stealing” a previous player’s gift until all presents have been unwrapped and everyone has a gift.
6. Remember that gifts don’t have to be expensive to be special. From hand-knit scarves to personalized photo albums to homemade cookies, there are so many options for thoughtful DIY gifts that won’t break the bank. Check out Google for ideas and get creative!