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Part 3 of 3 Maintaining Healthy Living and Managing Stress During the Holidays

Updated: Oct 1, 2020

Financial Stressors

Overspending during the holidays? Who does that? Well, if you answer “ME!” to that, you are not alone! According to, 42.62% plan to use their credit card or cards to pay for Christmas expenses. For some people credit cards are out of convenience; some will pay off that card right when the bill comes, but many will be continuing to pay on it each month until eventually it’s finally paid off. When the Black Friday sale items you bought are still being paid for months later it seems less and less of a good deal.

When you do the math, no matter how many points you get on that card, or the cash back, or the “on the spot” $40 off your bill if you open up one of those store credit cards it’s just not worth the temptation financially. Making those payments on your card all the way through April just to pay for Christmas means that holiday financial stress is dragged out. No wonder every year when we start hearing Christmas music in the stores and seeing the decorations go up in October, it seems like we just finished paying for last Christmas!

The most effective way to cut back on financial stress this Christmas is to take steps to prevent it! Work toward not going into debt during the holidays—and if you didn’t plan ahead last year for a debt-free Christmas, do it this year and start right now if you haven't begun saving yet! With so much of our lives out of the ordinary this year, due to Covid-19, this is the best time ever to start saving for Christmas right now and with the money you would have spent going out to dinner otherwise.

Use Cash, not credit

Dave Ramsey, a renowned author and leader in financial freedom education, advocates for using a cash-and-envelope system for budgeting and to keep track of what is being spent. In my own family as well we’ve found this has been a direct and helpful plan of action in being aware of how much money is being spent and where it’s going.

Have a budgeted gift amount for each person to receive…

Grab a pen and paper to plan ahead who will be receiving gifts. Decide how much you want to spend on each person who will be receiving a gift from you this holiday season. Calculate a total of how much that will end up being.

…And find out how much will need to be set aside

Divide up your total by 12 months to find out how much will need to be set aside each month to save for the holidays next year. If helpful, instead of putting aside money monthly, putting it away each pay period would also be a great alternative (if this is the case, just divide your total amount for all the gifts by the number of pay periods you have in a year to know how much to set aside). Tuck each month’s amount safely in your “Christmas envelope” and watch the amount grow throughout summer, spring, and autumn.

It really takes the mental stress of the holida