Although the holidays are a joyful time, they can also be a stressful time — especially from a financial standpoint. A recent Ellevest survey found that 38% of women are anxious about upcoming holiday expenses, which can include gifts for friends, family and kids, travel costs and hostessing expenses. But with the proper planning, a lot of this stress can be alleviated. In today’s “Financially Savvy Female” column, we’re chatting with financial experts who share their best tips for taking the anxiety out of holiday spending.
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Create a Holiday Shopping Budget
Knowing exactly how much you can afford to spend over the holidays and making a detailed plan for how you can spend these funds can help reduce holiday-spending-related stress.
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Find Out: How to Get Ahead on Budgeting for Holiday Shopping (and Shipping) in Advance
“The first step is to identify the resources available for upcoming holiday spending — how much can you spend based on what you have,” said Marianne Rodriguez, director and wealth advisor at Round Table Wealth Management. “If future inflows are being taken into consideration, like a year-end bonus, ensure to account for them realistically.”
Once you know what you have available, the second step is to set a budget.
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“In order to make this task less cumbersome, break your spending goals into buckets,” Rodriguez said. “For example, gifts, travel, lodging, holiday dinners, etc. And each of these can be broken down further. For instance, if you have a ‘gifts’ category, you can divide it into family gifts and friend gifts and prioritize from there. If your budget is finite — which it should be — you will have to compromise at some point. Having your spending goals outlined in order of priority will avoid unnecessary stress and alleviate the guilty feeling that you are leaving something (or someone) out.”
Start Shopping Early
One of the biggest stressors that comes along with shopping for the holidays is worrying that your gifts will not arrive on time — and this may be even more of a concern than usual this year.
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