The holidays are already stressful enough, without the added pressure of feeling as if you have to live up to society’s standards on what the holiday SHOULD look like. With commercials and ads constantly pushing the idea of countless amounts of gifts under the tree, matching holiday pajamas, and a house filled with beautiful Christmas decor – it can definitely become overwhelming when you’re barely getting by in the first place.
I’m here to tell you – you don’t have to live up to anyone else’s standards besides your own. Take the stress away this holiday season by taking it easy on yourself, your sanity, and your budget. After all, the holidays are about the time you get to spend with the ones you love the most.
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This is first and foremost when it comes to making sure you’re not overspending during this time. It can be really hard to not give in and want to spend loads of cash. Think about it like this, Christmas is just ONE day. Once it’s over, it’s back to REAL life and you don’t want to get yourself in a financial rut because of the hype.
Skip The Decorations
Decorations alone can add up. Skip them, or get crafty and try making some of your own. Not only can this be fun and get your mind off what you ‘don’t’ have, but it can also save your pockets a ton!
Seek Alternatives To Spending
It’s so easy to be tricked into spending your money. From new toys, new video games, new electronics, and let’s not even talk about family members aside from the kids – the total amount spent can become ridiculous. Contrary to popular belief, the holidays aren’t all about material things. Seek alternatives like crafting with the kids, building a gingerbread house, building a snowman, baking cookies, etc.
These are the times your kids will remember. Material things come and go, so save yourself the guilt and make memories instead.
Get A Side Hustle
I recently explained just how easy it is to make money from home, or by doing the things you have to do anyway. Take grocery shopping for example – with services like InstaCart and PostMates, you can instantly make extra cash with your vehicle by picking up food and groceries and delivering them.
Think about it likes this, you’re already running in and out of the grocery store; why not pick up a few more and get paid to drop them off? If that’s not your thing, there are plenty of online jobs you can do from home to earn extra cash.
Trade Your Talents For Gifts
Do you have a special talent? If so, use it to your advantage this holiday season. Let’s say you’re really great at graphic design, maybe you can create a friend or family member’s logo for their new business. Or maybe you can cook really well. Try being responsible for your annual holiday dinner and let that be the gift to your family. Or, maybe you love painting and creating things. Those skills can be put to good use as you help someone with a new home project…
Whatever the talent, I’m almost certain it can get you by this year!
Save For Next Year
Be Honest And Don’t Be Ashamed
Understand that you’re not alone. Everybody struggles at some point and the holidays can add more pressure, but you can’t let that get to you. The year is filled with 365 days, don’t let ONE day determine your worth as a person, or a parent.
If others are expecting you to be, or give, besides your immediate family – just be honest with them. You’ll be surprised at how many people are going through something similar. Not only will they understand, but they’ll appreciate your honesty.
If All Else Fails, Apply For A Loan
More than likely, if you’re needing to apply for a loan, your issues go far beyond not being able to afford gifts – it means you just need help in general – and that’s totally okay. If you go this route, be sure to commit to paying it off as soon as you can (tax time is a great time to commit) and not asking for a penny more of what you know you’ll need to cover bills and expenses. Here, you can find a list of easily approved personal loan lenders.
All of these are super simple alternatives when you’re low on cash for the holidays. After all, theses days will go as fast as they came and you can save yourself the guilt of ‘not being able to afford it.’