7 Ultimate Ways To Survive The Holidays - Financially
We’ll say it—the holidays are STRESSFUL. Especially when it comes to money. With all the wonderful things the season brings (food, time with loved ones, gift giving, seasonal lattes, holiday sales…), it also brings the added pressure of affording it all. Breathe—we’ve got you. Here are our 7 top tips for keeping yourself financially healthy (and a lot less stressed) this winter.
1. Make a holiday budget
Start by making a holiday budget that includes everything from gifts to home decorations to the ingredients (or store-bought pies—we won’t tell!) you’ll need to purchase for potlucks and parties. It’s important to set a real expectation of how much you’ll need or want to spend on the holidays. And don’t forget about your regular monthly expenses—as much as we wish they would, those don’t disappear during the holidays!
2. Plan as early as possible
Make a list of all the events and parties that may require gifts, other contributions, or travel expenses throughout the season. Doing this early will ensure you have as much time as possible to shop around for the best deals, coordinate carpools, or even craft gifts at home.
3. Take advantage of sales
Black Friday and Cyber Monday are the two biggest shopping days in America—and they come with some of the best deals of the year on everything from gift items and subscriptions to electronics, home foods, and appliances. The actual dates may have passed already this year, but many stores will continue their sales throughout the month—and you can always mark your calendar for next year. Take advantage of these sales to check off your Christmas list for your loved ones (or yourself)—but make sure you stick to your budget. Just because something’s on sale doesn’t mean you need it! If you can’t afford it, you can’t afford it—even on a holiday.
4. Get crafty
DIYing your gifts and decorations is not only fun—it can save you tons of money. We love TikTok and Pinterest for plenty of craft ideas that can be done at home with little cost!
5. Over-budget for utility bills
With the weather getting colder in many parts of the world, heating and electricity bills will be on the rise. Overestimating what you may need for utility bills will ensure that there is enough in your budget to cover fluctuating expenses.
6. Compare prices where possible
Tracking prices, shopping around, and planning early so you have time to compare prices may seem like a hassle, but it can save you a lot of money in the long run. So do your best to avoid last-minute gift shopping, and instead try some price-tracking tools like camelcamelcamel.com or honey, which can take the stress out of finding the best deal.
7. Make sure to budget for you
Holiday sales can be hard to resist—and that’s okay. We believe in treating yourself (responsibly!). Just be sure to account for personal purchases in your holiday budget. Create a list of “need to have” items and “nice to have” items to help you prioritize and keep track of budgeting priorities.
Taking charge of holiday expenses doesn’t have to be stressful. And once you build good habits it might even become easy. At Stride, we’re here to support your success in any way we can, from access to outcomes-driven education financing to personal financial wellness and career support. Follow us on Instagram for more tips, tricks, and special content for anyone looking to take the stress out of finance. Happy Holidays!