If you’re already struggling with debt, over-spending this festive season is the last thing you need. And when anxiety kicks in, we tend to spend even more as a result. How do you cope with the financial stress that comes with the festive season?
Christmas is a time most of us look forward to enjoying. But Christmas is synonymous with spending and that can be a problem.
According to Money & Life, dealing with financial stress can be physically and emotionally damaging. Coping with financial stress can result in anti-social behaviour, fighting with friends and family, isolation, lack of sleep, and signs of depression.
The festive season can have its toll on our finances when our credit cards and debt becomes all too real. We don’t want to think about a Christmas without gifts, good food, and/or alcohol. To avoid being embarrassed or have others think we’re in a sticky financial situation, we compensate by spending more than we should.
We overspend on gifts, over cater our food and we even go on expensive holiday trips. We do all these things just to avoid being a poor parent, friend or host.
Combine these stressors with aggressive marketing tactics from retailers and we’re bound to make a lot of impulse purchasing decisions.
How do we combat the stress that comes with the festive season?
1. Prioritize your Christmas stockings
Avoid any further headache and prioritise your festive season activities. You can’t give your time and money to everyone; you have to be realistic.
Decide who you want to spend your time with, whether it’s family and/or friends, and spend your time and money with them in mind.
You don’t have to see everyone you know, and definitely don’t have to buy gifts for all of them either. Once you know who you would like to spend your time with, you can prioritize your gifts around that. And don’t worry about anything else.
2. Learn to say ‘No’
Learn how to say No. Saying ‘no’ to the people who are trying to derail you from your plans will help you stay focused. Say ‘no’ to your friends who want to attend expensive events and drink the night away. Say ‘no’ to the third Secret Santa party you’ve been invited to. And say ‘no’ to those trying to borrow money from you.
Stop worrying about what others will think because you said ‘no’. You have the right to do with your time and money as you please. Don’t let anyone convince you otherwise.
3. Don’t compare yourself to others
You don’t have to compare your holiday with others on Social Media. Instead, focus on your own personal and financial situation.
Celebrate your holiday in a way that you can afford while still being happy. After all, happiness really doesn’t cost a thing. Happiness is a choice.
You don’t have to spend a lot of money to have a good time.
Spend your time with people you care about and don’t lose sight of what you’ve prioritized for the festive season.
4. Stay within your means
Spending more than what you have will fuel your financial stress that comes with the festive season. Before you start going on a spending spree with your credit card, take a step back.
The last thing you’d want to be doing is going on holiday and buying gifts for the whole family without budgeting.
Keep your festive season budget simple. Simply calculate how much money you will have left after paying your monthly expenses. This amount is what you have left for spending the festive season.
This will help you decide how much you can spend on gifts and if you’re able to go on holiday.
5. Make smart gift decisions
You don’t need to buy gifts for everyone, and you also don’t need to buy gifts that exceed your budget. Be open about your budget when it comes to gifts. If you only can afford gifts worth of R500, then approach your family or friends and make that clear beforehand.
Once they know how much you can afford for gifts this year, they can suggest gifts within that price range.
Avoid overspending at all costs.
From everyone here at Debt Rescue, have a wonderful festive season.
See you in the new year 😉