“It’s the most wonderful time of the year”—or at least that’s how we feel it should be. But for the millions of Americans dealing with debt, the thought of the upcoming holiday season can often feel more stressful than joyous.
The good news, though, is that you don’t have to feel this way. The holidays can still be enjoyable even while managing debt. Using our three simple steps, you can feel financially confident this holiday season.
Let Go of Feeling Pressured
One of the most common pressures people often experience during the holidays is the feeling of having to purchase a gift for everyone they know. A recent study conducted by the National Retail Federation shows this as Americans are projected to spend 4.2% more money on gifts this year than last. This is an unrealistic expectation for anyone to set for themselves—particularly someone who’s managing debt. This type of financial pressure can wreak havoc on your budget and well being.
To help avoid this holiday pitfall, take some time and map out your priority gift list. By making this list in advance, you’ll know the exact number of gifts you’d like to purchase and can allocate your budget among them. By having a gifting game plan in place, you can help eliminate any impulsive or last-minute purchases that weren’t originally accounted for.
Stay Focused on Your Goals
When you’re on a strict budget and managing debt, the holiday season can easily derail your financial goals. Between the social gatherings, gift exchanges, and other festive commitments, there seems to be an endless string of events tapping into your wallet.
So how can you effectively manage your debt while still enjoying the holidays? The trick is to go about your budget like you would any other time of the year. Make it a point to continue paying all of your required monthly expenses first. Then, once you’ve covered your regular costs, you’ll know exactly how much money you can set aside for holiday activities.
Not only does this approach allow you to stay on track financially, but it provides you with peace of mind in knowing that the events you choose to participate in are within your budget. That means you can sit back, relax, and enjoy the moment—without the financial guilt.
Appreciate the Season
For many, the holiday season serves as a time of reflection and appreciation for all the non-monetary items in one’s life.
Embrace this positive mindset and spend some time reflecting on the things that matter most to you. Find activities that allow you to connect and spend quality time with family and friends. Volunteer your time with an organization in your community, or simply enjoy the feel-good spirit of the season.
Let Us Help!
If you’ve read through our tips but are still feeling uncertain about managing your debt this holiday season, let us help! At ACCS, our debt specialists are here to help guide and support you through all your debt management needs. Request your free debt evaluation to explore your options today!