For many people, the economic downturn has already caused immense stress and worry. The additional demands on our pockets at this time of year simply pile on yet more stress and add to our anxiety over financial difficulties. Coupled with the shame and guilt often experienced when dealing with money issues, many people beat themselves up even more over not having enough to provide festive food for the table or presents for the kids.
While we can’t offer you a much needed holiday bonus, we can tell you a few ways to reduce monetary seasonal stress!
1.) Set a budget for the festive season and stick to it
This includes food, presents and entertainment.
2.) Make things!
There is something really special about a homemade present and, in these tough economic times, the hours of love and effort you put in are truly appreciated far more than how much you have spent.
3.) Keep it simple!
There is no need to go overboard on decorations or food. In fact, there is nothing that says you have to have the whole turkey feast if that’s not what you want. Many people have something else altogether, perhaps because they are vegetarian or for religious or cultural reasons.
4.) Socialize at home or in friends’ houses rather than at restaurants and bars.
If you receive an invitation to a gathering at a restaurant or bar that you feel you cannot afford, gracefully decline but offer an alternative, e.g. ‘I’m sorry I can’t make it Thursday but how about you come round to us for a drink before Christmas?’
5.) Limit alcohol (at least while out)
It tends to lead to a loss of inhibition over excess spending.
6.) Do a gift exchange
Set an affordable amount that each person spends then put names in a hat and give out the gifts accordingly.
Think about joining forces with family or friends so that, say, one of you does the turkey, another brings the desserts and so on.