Written by Suzanne Senechal-Jandreau, Northern Region Workforce Specialist and Regional Manager
Spending over the holiday season can be stressful and leave you feeling like the New Year is not so happy! Here are a few ideas to keep in mind as you prepare for this holiday season:
Make a Budget and Stick to it
Make a list of what you and whom you need to buy for and how much money you plan to spend. Do not veer from the list. Remember to include any extra money that you may spend on food and/or decorations.
Make Memories and Spend Less
When you ask your children what they got for Christmas last year or the year before, do they remember what they received? If you ask your children what they most treasure about the holidays (especially as they get older), you are likely to hear things such as:
- “Spending time with family”
- “Going out to see the Christmas lights”
- “Your sugar cookies”
- “Watching my favorite holiday movies”
Spend your energy on developing holiday traditions that cost little or nothing – you will make memories that last forever.
Consider a Swap or Gift Exchange With Family and Friends
You are not the only one who feels financially stressed and strapped during the holidays. Ask your friends and family to consider low-cost gift exchanges. Consider sharing homemade gifts, setting a low price for a Yankee Swap gathering, or even re-gifting items. It might be a relief for everyone to cut back on their holiday spending!
Make Your Holiday Budget for Next Year, This Year
As you prepare for next year’s festivities, develop your spending plan now or in the New Year. Put some money into a savings account every month in preparation for the 2018 holiday season. Remember the old “Christmas Clubs” that banks used to offer? Nothing is stopping you from starting your own!
Avoid the Holiday Money Strain
Holidays often times become stressful, in large part due to financial strain on our budgets. Planning, re-focusing, and not spending more than you can afford can help to make your holiday season more manageable and enjoyable!
Are you looking for help learning how to budget, build your savings, or repair your credit? Check out our upcoming tuition-free money management workshops & classes that can help you reach your money goals.