8 Financial Tips to Reduce Stress During the Holidays

holiday-financial-stress-tips

  1. Shop Early – Unless you like the large crowds and competition for gifts, be sure to get to the mall early on in the holiday season for a more relaxed shopping experience.
  2. Make a List – Lists are a great way to organize your thoughts and maximize your efficiency. Make a list of everyone you need to shop for as well as a few gift ideas for each person. That way, when you head to the mall, you can better plan your trip to minimize your time spent and maximize your enjoyment.
  3. Shop Online – Avoid the crowds altogether by embracing the ease of internet shopping. You can save time and money by browsing online from the comfort of your own home. Visit sites like Amazon.com who have a diverse selection of gifts for your family and loved ones. Be sure to sign up from Amazon Prime. For only $79 you can take advantage of free 2 day shipping on most items for an entire year.
  4. Take Advantage of Sales and Discount Codes – Be sure to keep your eyes open for sales at the stores you like to shop at. This may seem like a no-brainer but if you start watching for sales early on, you can end up saving good money. Also, when shopping online, be sure to check for discount codes before you check out. Do a Google search for discount codes for the store you are ordering from or visit sites like RetailMeNot.com. Discounts for 10% off or free shipping add up and it only takes an extra minute or two.
  5. Set a Limit – Figure out ahead of time how much money you want to spend on each person you are shopping for then stick to that figure. Avoid the shock of opening your credit card statement to see that you spent much more than you intended to. By planning ahead and sticking to the plan, you will be much happier come January.
  6. Open an Online Savings Account – Prepare for next year’s holiday season by opening an interest bearing online savings account. You can then decide what you want your holiday budget to be next year and deposit that money into the account. That way, you can make sure the money is there when you need it. You won’t have to pay for gifts with your credit card. Current online interest rates are around 1% (try Ally Bank, SallieMae or Barclays).
  7. Take Advantage of Post-Holiday Sales – Most stores will offer significant discounts on items after the holidays are over. This is especially true for decorations, holiday lights, wrapping paper, etc. Take advantage of these sales by stocking up for next year. This can also be a great time to pick up those few items you were hoping to receive but that didn’t quite make it into a gift box for you.
  8. Have Fun! – Remember the holiday season is supposed to be a time of joy. Make sure to spend enough time with friends and family. When shopping be sure to enjoy the festive decorations and listen to the holiday music. Get outside and enjoy the winter weather. Reflect on the year that has gone by and be thankful for the people in your life who you truly care about. Finally, always remember to have at least one warm drink by the fire; it’s good for the soul!