Now that Thanksgiving is over, we are now approaching the season of giving, which can be a bit expensive. If money is tight for you this holiday season could be a difficult one. Luckily, you can reduce your financial stress this holiday season with four easy tips.
People experience stress during the holiday season for a variety of reasons. Family gatherings, traveling plans, the pressure of gift giving, the difficulty of sticking to a diet, and even, the commercialism hype of the holidays have been said to cause holiday stress. However, according to past American Psychological Association (APA) reports, two of the top stressors are “a lack of time” and “a lack of money.” People worry about not being able to afford gifts and building up credit card debt.
If you need to be extra frugal this holiday season, consider these four stress tips.
- Don’t be hard on yourself. When you can’t give your loved ones the Christmas of their dreams you may feel ashamed or disappointed. Don’t be so hard on yourself. Instead, use meditation and optimistic thinking to manage your disappointment. Remember that money, gifts, and huge feasts aren’t the reason for the season. With a little ingenuity and a lot of love, you can create a great holiday experience on even the most modest budget.
- Focus on other aspects. If you can’t afford a tree or decorations this year, soak up the Christmas fun from the numerous free holiday events that usually occur around this time. Go to like your local tree lighting ceremony, go ice-skating, and listen to a holiday music concert. Also, consider rethinking Christmas Day. If you can only afford to give trinkets this year, don’t make the gift giving the main event at your Christmas gathering. Center the focus of your celebration on love and family. Have fun activities planned like a board game marathon or a Christmas cookie decoration station.
- Get creative. If you still want to give your family members and friends gifts, get creative. Instead of spending money you don’t have, create presents instead using your skills or a hobby. A hand-knitted scarf or handmade soaps make great gifts. Also consider providing your loved ones with a service, such as helping a friend with a home improvement project. This is a way to show how much you care with your time and hard work.
- Help others. Money may be tight but there is always someone who is less fortunate than yourself. Taking time to help others will not only make a difference in your local community, it can help you put your own troubles in perspective. It can also make you feel better because helping other can give you a helper’s high.