The winter holidays are upon us again which means a more stressful time for compulsive spenders, debtors, and underearners like us! Holiday spending is when we’re more likely to use credit to pay for purchases and deal with the consequences later. But this is the time when we really need to be careful and not give in to all the holiday sales gimmicks and pressures of buying gifts for everyone especially if we can’t afford it. Here are some ways that you can still get into the spirit of the holidays without having to spend a lot of money or use credit:
- Figure out how much money you can set aside for gifts and don’t forget to include any expenses such as entertaining, decorations, and travel costs. If it helps set up a separate spending plan for the holidays. Resist the urge to use your credit cards especially if you’re already in debt.
- Don’t worry if you can’t afford much on gifts for your family and friends. Set a limit of what you can spend on each person and stick to your spending plan. What matters most is that any gift no matter how small will be appreciated.
- Don’t redirect money from paying bills and necessities to use for holiday spending. This will just mess up your monthly spending plan and you will regret it later. Instead, find ways to cut back on monthly discretionary spending.
- Don’t wait until the last minute to buy gifts! This will just add to the stress! By planning ahead you will be able to comparison shop to save money, pay less for shipping if you’re buying online, and you can get your shopping done earlier.
- Don’t fall for all the holiday marketing schemes and limited time offers. Retailers will try to entice you with their holiday sales especially on Black Friday, Cyber Monday, and even after the holidays. You might get a few good deals but you really need to focus and just stick to your holiday spending plan. If it’s not something that you can afford or that you truly need then don’t buy it!
- Think of creative ways besides buying gifts to appreciate your loved ones. Take some time to spend with loved ones, offer to babysit, or help out with something that needs to be done around the house. After all, the real meaning of the holidays is making special memories with your loved ones. If you want to give something tangible, make your own holiday cards, bake an assortment of holiday cookies or candy, give to a charity in the name of someone, or if you want to get fancy, buy materials to make hand made gifts like soaps, candles, or ornaments. With a bit of creativity and a little research online, you can make some beautiful gifts without spending a lot of money!
- Make time to go to a DA meeting either in person or on the phone especially during the holiday season. By attending a DA meeting you can get the support from other DA members and it will really help you stay focused on your program and not get swayed by all the hype.
- The most important thing to remember is that this season is a time of love, friendship, and peace. Spread joy through random acts of kindness. Practice tolerance and patience with those around you. Forgive and forget. The holidays can be a time where you can free yourself from the burden of resentments and grudges.
I hope these ideas and thoughts are helpful to you and you’re able to have a less stressful time dealing with your holiday spending. If for any reason you need to reach out please don’t hesitate to contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.