TD Bank recently polled 1,004 U.S. consumers to gauge their shopping, spending, money management habits and overall sentiment during the holiday season.
The survey found that while Americans are increasingly responsible with their holiday spending, with 73 percent creating a budget – two-thirds (66 percent) of consumers say the financial aspect of the holiday season makes them anxious.
Previous spending mishaps may be responsible for the stress experienced during the holidays. According to the survey, 69 percent of Americans say they have previously overspent during the holidays and 41 percent say they experienced a negative financial situation because of holiday spending. An additional 31 percent have tapped into emergency savings to pay for holiday expenses.
Here are some important tips and reminders about how to show people you care without going into debt.
Start the Conversation with Family and Friends:
- Approach the conversation with your family. Request a change in what you personally receive.
- Ask for no gifts this year or ask that the money be donated to a charity rather than spent on clutter.
- Before buying a whole bunch of stuff for your loved ones this holiday season, ask if your loved ones even want a whole bunch of stuff this holiday season or look for new traditions in your family.
- Maybe you only buy gifts for people under the age of 18 or decide to limit the amount of gift-giving stress by drawing names, rather than everyone buying gifts for everyone else.
Look for New Ways to Make the Season Memorable:
- Look to experiences, or pooling money for one significant gift rather than piles under the tree.
- Holidays are important for families. Find ways to establish tradition, stability, and shared experiences among family members.
- Look for new ways to promote memories (time together, meals together, religious experiences together) that do not center around stuffing used wrapping paper into a trash bag.
Make a budget – Stick to It:
- When creating a budget, shoppers should use the tools and resources they find most helpful. A physical planner or notebook was the most common tool cited for budgeting, while others may find digital tools and applications linked to bank accounts useful for staying on track.
Lisa Bien is a motivational speaker and coach. For more information, go to her website.
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