Financial stress can put a damper on the holiday season, yet over half of all Americans are willing to take on more debt during the holidays. With a few simple strategies, it’s possible to enjoy the holiday season without breaking the bank. Read on to learn how to give yourself the gift of financial well-being.
Avoid the financial naughty list
Approaching the holidays with a game plan can help you avoid the stress that comes with gift buying, traveling and party planning. Try these holiday finance tips to avoid overspending this holiday season:
- Know your situation
Map out your incoming funds, subtract bills due in this time frame and make a list of the holiday-related purchases you foresee.
Save cash by cutting back on unnecessary purchases, like your daily coffee run or weekly happy hour. While it may not seem like a lot of money at the moment, habitual purchases add up over time.
- Budget accordingly
The best way to avoid overspending is to set a budget and stick to it. Establish clear spending boundaries to hold yourself accountable during the holiday season.
- Give creatively
When it comes to gifts, keep in mind it’s the thought that counts—not the price tag. Try turning a hobby into a holiday favorite by creating a thoughtful present.
There’s no place like home for holiday savings
The holidays are a time for connecting with loved ones. However, getting together with family can be expensive during this busy time of year. Here are some ways to maintain a sense of togetherness without incurring the costs of travel—or venturing out into the North Dakota cold:
- Pick up the phone. While texting has replaced many conversations, hearing a loved one’s voice can make you feel closer to them.
- Set up a video call. Video calls can make you feel like your loved ones are there with you.
- Send a care package. Receiving a surprise package lets others know they are in your thoughts.
- Throw a watch party. Streaming services like Teleparty let everyone watch a favorite holiday movie together on their favorite platform, including YouTube, Netflix, Disney+, Hulu and Amazon.
Dodge the snowball effect
Achieving and maintaining financial health isn’t a do-it-yourself project. Take advantage of available resources now to get on track and maintain financial stability throughout the next year.
- Financial adviser or planner
- Nonprofit credit counseling services
- Financial apps and online tools
- Financially savvy family members or friends
Bypass the holiday spending hangover
We all want to create lasting holiday memories for ourselves and our loved ones, but overspending can negatively affect our mental and physical health. So, remember to keep your bank account—and well-being—in mind as you make the most of the holiday season. Imagine how good you’ll feel bringing in the new year without a mountain of debt.