Avoid Digging Yourself into a Financial Hole over the Holidays

 

The holiday season can be very gratifying —it gives us the opportunity to reconnect with family and friends we may have lost touch with over the course of the year. However, buying gifts for all of your loved ones can be very stressful. As excess stress has been proven to have a big negative impact on our mental and physical health, here are a few tips on how to take the anxiety out of your holiday shopping.

Skip the Black Friday Rush, Check out Cyber Monday Instead

Although many major retailers offer significant bargains on Black Friday, do yourself a favor and stay home on the biggest shopping day of the year. Being able to save even hundreds of dollars on a variety of different items isn’t worth the stress you’ll place yourself under by doing some last-minute holiday shopping. Disrupting your sleep cycle for the privilege of fighting your way through hundreds of other shoppers in hopes of buying a discounted TV is a bad idea. A number of online retailers offer a range of incredible deals on Cyber Monday (the Monday following Black Friday) and you can take advantage of all of them from the comfort and safety of your own home.

Buy Gifts Ahead of Time

Another way to cut down your holiday spending stress is to buy gifts ahead of time. You don’t need to wait until the start of the holiday season to buy items you plan to give your loved ones during the holidays. While you may not find bargains that are comparable to those on Black Friday, you’ll save yourself a lot of undue strain by buying presents you intend to give out in the winter during the autumn, spring and summer.

Create a Holiday Gift Fund

One of the main reasons people feel stressed out during the holidays is because of the financial strain that comes with having to make a number of expensive purchases all at once. One way to deal with that particular issue is to create a gift buying fund. Determine exactly how much you want to spend during the holiday season at the beginning of the year so you can start saving early. Then, as autumn approaches you can buy gifts for all your loved ones with the money you saved and it won’t impact your monthly budget.

Make A Budget and Stick To It

Whether or not you’ve established a holiday gift fund, you need to place a hard limit on your holiday season spending. One effective way to do this is to figure out exactly how much you want to spend and then not to go over that amount for any reason. If you have to limit the amount of money you spend per present, or even if you need to cut certain people off your list in order to make your budget work, do it. You won’t be doing yourself or any of your loved ones any favors by putting yourself in a majorly stress inducing financial hole.

Plan Ahead

You can save yourself a lot of unnecessary anxiety if you get all of your holiday shopping done in one day. Make a list of all the people you’re buying gifts for this season. Go online and find out exactly which stores carry the items you’re looking for. Then, try to find out if there is anywhere you can go to cross a bunch of items off your list, like a mall. Finally, on a a day you’re not working, go and complete all of your holiday shopping. That way, you won’t have to worry about disappointing anyone because you forgot to buy them a gift or because the item they wanted was sold out by the time you went shopping.