Financial Stress and the Holidays

It’s not uncommon for stress to cause weight gain. It can happen because of hormonal changes in your body during times of negative stress and the urge to overeat as a form of self-medication. Finances are another major cause of stress for many people. Here are some tips to ensure your holiday season stays on track with your budget.

Stop the urge to overspend at the mall.
First, determine how much money you have available to spend on gifts. Next, decide who you will be buying gifts for and how much you will spend on each person, staying within the figure you decided upon.

Remember, not all gifts have to cost money!
If you like to craft, think of homemade presents you could make for your family or friends with recycled items you already have. These gifts really come from the heart! Other non-tangible gift ideas include spending uninterrupted time with loved ones or taking a task off a co-worker’s plate.

Plan ahead.
When you procrastinate, you are more likely to overpay for items later when retail stores know that shoppers are desperate to find the right gifts. Planning ahead also helps avoid extra shipping fees to rush deliveries.

Divide holiday tasks and responsibilities.
Try not to put the burden of providing the entire holiday meal on one person. Even if they enjoy cooking, expenses can add up, especially for large gatherings. Don’t be afraid to ask for help or pose the idea of a pitch-in style if you feel financially strained.

Plan carefully for travel.
Travel expenses during the holidays can really add up. Do your research before booking any flights to determine the most affordable dates, times, and airlines for your destination. If you are planning a vacation around popular travel times, such as Christmas or New Year’s, start budgeting as early as possible, knowing that you might have to pay more than you would at a non-peak travel time.

Stay connected

Pete the Planner suggests no more than 5% of your income go toward holidays and gifts,including Christmas, birthdays, and weddings all year long. Learn more about successful ways to arrange your budget to better prepare for times of gift-giving.

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