The holiday season is upon us. It’s a time of decorating the house, enjoying the company of friends and family, filling the kitchen with the aromas of gingerbread, and wringing your hands at the ever-growing pile of receipts from various physical and Internet stores. Yes, the period from Black Friday til Christmas Eve can be the most stressful for young families as One More Thing Disease keeps you in the stores with a cartful of items you’ll probably never use. This can cause stress and anxiety that is definitely not needed.
What you need to do is not panic. The added stress of finances during this season can spread to other members of your young family, leading to arguments, hurt feelings, and, on the extreme side, possible separation or divorce. Best thing to do in this case is to close your eyes, take a breath, and follow some of these tips to keep the stress levels down this season.
Plan Ahead — This is always important when trying to maintain a household budget, but it’s even more important in the holiday season where retailers try to tempt you with deep discounts on items you think you or your family members need. What you intend to get for friends and family should be planned out well ahead of time to avoid impulse shopping.
Avoid Doorbuster or Other Promotional Sales — Take a look at the holiday circulars you receive in your daily paper and look at the fine print. Some of these so-called doorbuster sales only guarantee one or two items for each store or a limited amount you can purchase. Avoid the crowds that will push and shove to get these products and try to find them online. There’s a very good chance you’ll find them in larger quantities at the store’s website for easier purchase.
Get Some Sleep — Decorating, baking, and entertaining until the early hours of the morning can be fun during the holiday season, but they can also be exhausting. A few days of little sleep can lead to some shopping decisions that you wouldn’t have made if you were wide awake. Best advice is to get a good night’s sleep before you tackle the store’s during a sale.
Eat and Drink on Time — Traveling the mall in search of bargains can make you forget to eat a meal or drink sufficient water. The lack of water can lead to dehydration and a possible visit to the hospital while not eating can cause to rush through a store and make unnecessary purchases so you can grab something in the food court. Make sure to eat a good meal before you head out to the early morning or late night sales and bring a bottle of water and protein bar to keep you going.