How to minimize holiday financial stress

By  | 

If you're like most people, the holidays cause more financial stress than any other time of year.
But there are ways to enjoy the holidays without breaking the bank and giving yourself a headache.
So, here are some tips on how you can still make this season bright.

A happy time, even considered to be the most wonderful time, but not for everyone.
For some, the holidays can bring financial stress.
So how can you minimize that stress and your cash crunch during the holidays?
Well, Terry Mills, with Consumer Credit Counseling says, it starts by planning ahead.
Mills says Christmas is a periodic expense, meaning it comes every year.

Mills says, "So, we need to prepare for this thing 11 months ahead of time and not be surprised at the end and we do that because the decisions you make between Thanksgiving and Christmas with your money and your credit is going to have a huge impact on your 2018 finances for the year."

So Christmas 2018 starts now, where you should already be putting money away for next year's festivities, so you won't be as stressed financially.
But, don't worry, it's not too late to start now.
Mills says something to do before you go out and shop is to set a realistic holiday budget, and make sure you to stick to it.

Mills say, "You know, I know we get caught up in the emotion of Christmas, we want to make everyone happy, but that's going, I call it the Christmas hangover, shows up in January and February and then you have to deal with that whole thing for the whole year probably."

And Mills says it's okay to use a credit card, calling it a tool.
He says it's just how you choose to use it that leaves either a positive or negative impact on your future finances.

Mills says, "Do a quick budget and just kind of see where you're at. Look at your finances, look what you can afford and if you have to carry balance, like a lot of us do with our credit cards at this time of year, then just have a plan to pay it off."

Mills says it's also important to talk to your family and let them know your financial limitations ahead of time.
One thing to do is to consider setting a dollar limit on gifts and, or draw names to limit the amount of gifts you have to buy.