$729 Billion Dollars?!?!* That’s how much was spent during the Holiday’s in 2019.
Are you overwhelmed by this time of year? This joyful season can be crushing for families who don’t have the means to provide the presents their children want, or for those who must shop every “deal” knowing they’re just going deeper and deeper in credit card debt.
The holidays are hard. They come with hopes of smiles and laughter, cozy nights by the fire, romance, and beauty in the snowfall and decorations. But for many families, these moments can be overshadowed by price tags, rising inflation costs, and unrealistic expectations.
Christmas dinners. Decorations. Presents. Activities. Winter Clothes. Lights. Charities.
Spend. Spend. Spend.
How can we change the narrative? How do we stop financial stress from overwhelming us during the happiest time of the year?
What’s important to you? Is it big family dinners, a tree filled with presents, activities in the neighborhood or giving back to those in need? It’s okay if it’s all of the above but prioritizing where you want to spend the majority of your time and money will help you make the most of this season with your family.
Use this time as a learning opportunity
Children love to be involved with the holidays, whether it’s putting the star on top of the tree, mixing the dough for freshly baked cookies, or writing their letters to Santa. Turn this time into a learning opportunity to teach kids about financial literacy. Help them understand the value of a dollar, how much their toys really cost, and the benefits of giving back to charity. Maybe part of their allowance goes in the donation box at Church, or they do chores around the house to buy Mom and Dad a present with their hard-earned money. Not only will this instill a sense of independence amongst kids, but it will teach them lessons that go beyond just Christmas and New Year.
Deals are everywhere this time of year. So much so that it’s normal to feel like if you don’t jump on a deal right now, you may miss out. But remember that brands and retailers are regularly having sales throughout the year. Holidays, anniversary sales, flash sales are all normal in the industry, and if you don’t get something this time around the items will be discounted again in a matter of weeks.
Not only that, but a lot of stores participate in price matching. Instead of going for the first item you see, do a quick Google search to see if it is available for a better price somewhere else, that way you can feel good that you’re not overpaying for your gifts.
If you’re on the hunt for a big-ticket item, ask yourself if you need it brand new. Would you buy it refurbished from the retailer themselves? What about slightly used on Facebook Marketplace? These are some of the best ways to get luxury items without paying the luxury price tag.
At the end of the day, the Holidays are about enjoying this time with your loved ones, spreading cheer, and giving back. The material aspects of the season shouldn’t take precedent and shouldn’t cause stress. If you find yourself feeling overwhelmed, take a step back and focus on the things that matter most to you. Remember to set yourself up for success by starting 2022 strong with your financial goals for the year and not trying to dig yourself out of credit card debt caused by the Holidays.
The opinions voiced in this material are for general information only and are not intended to provide specific advice or recommendations for any individual.