At our recent MONEY MONDAYS event, we discussed the challenges of getting through the holidays without financial stress.
Only 29% of Canadians have a set budget for holiday spending according to a recent Bank of Montreal holiday spending survey. On average survey respondents plans to spend $674 on gifts and $1,610 when you include holiday travel, entertainment, and other expenses with many Canadians spending with no plan for paying off their holiday bills.
Here are 4 tips to help you avoid the post-holiday hangover:
1. Don’t deck the halls with debt
Set a realistic spending goal and stick with it. Set aside money every month leading up to this high-spending season. If you’re starting from scratch, don’t just throw everything on a credit card and hope for the best. Spend according to what you can afford, not what you think will impress your kids or others.
2. Get creative
Money doesn’t grow on Christmas trees so stop kidding yourself. Put thought and time into gifts. Make a photo book for grandma; give iPhone or iPad apps you know your favourite geek will love; offer services, like babysitting or a special dinner you cook.
Money can be that elephant in the room, not just in marriages and partnerships but among family members. Don’t be afraid to bring up the subject of holiday spending, be honest and don’t pretend. Let your family know you are trying not to spend money you don’t have. Suggest a gift exchange – everyone draws one name instead of trying to buy for all.
4. The holidays are for giving.
Avoid the temptation of taking advantage of holiday sales for yourself. It’s better to “give than receive” at this time of year!
Join the Conversation:
Share your ideas of how to enjoy the holidays without financial stress.