Helpful Ideas For Avoiding Money Problems By Keeping Your Holiday Spending Within Budget
By: Giancarlo Mazzitelli
Staying Within Budget
With household debt and unsecured lending becoming on the rise it is ever so important to remind everyone that the holiday season is more than about spending. This short reminder is not intended as financial advice, but as a reminder of what really matters; your family, your friends, and your mental, physical and financial health.
The reality is that budgeting should be an everyday routine. Forbes released an article on some great ways to save substantially throughout the year. For some minor sacrifices Forbes recommended options for saving money including:
- The cancellation of unnecessary subscriptions;
- Cutting off of cable television or excess channels; and
- The review, annually, of your expenses based on value and necessity.
Some good ideas and recommendations for holiday specific budgeting involve:
- sitting down and making a strict budget per person (include people and cost);
- staying within the established budget without excuse;
- buying gifts as are 'experiences' that foster relationships rather than gifts with a shelf-life; and
- understanding that the gift cost is inapplicable to the purpose, reason, and rhyme of the purpose of the holidays.
Mental Holiday Health, Physical Holiday Health
The Mayo Clinic is a great resource that provides a baseline for common hardships or stressors that individuals face during the holiday season. Compassion and understanding are crucial whereas we are always without knowledge of what someone else is going through and the true meaning of the holidays is about experience rather than expensive gifts. As is sometimes said, 'Let your presence be your presents'. In this regard, for both good mental and physical health during the holidays, the Mayo Clinic specifically recommends:
- Being realistic with your budget;
- Planning ahead for travel, parties, etc., as well as concerns such as designated driver selection, among other things;
- Seeking of a support group of friends and family members;
- Setting of firm budgets and staying within those budgets;
- Learning to say "no" as it is impossible to participate in every event;
- Keeping good habits and routine (eg. going to the gym, healthy snacks, etc.);
- Taking of a breather when necessary; and
- Seeking of professional help if needed.
Furthermore, it is important to speak to someone if emotional difficulty arises. There are many public resources available. Be sure to reach out for help! Within the Greater Toronto Area, a wonderful available resource is What's Up walk-in clinic which provides immediate mental health counselling for children, youth, young adults, and families. For more information about What's Up, see the video below: