Tips for relieving the stress of Holiday Gift Buying
I must admit, ever since getting my own income, the gift-buying aspect of the Christmas season has threatened to ruin my Christmas spirit. Here are some of the keys that have helped me to keep that from happening.
Spend Within Your Means No Matter What
The more you spend beyond your means the more your joy from giving stands to be offset by the stress that comes with not being able to pay your bills.
The way I see it, the people who genuinely care about you would NEVER want you to put yourself or your family in financial difficulty just to buy them a gift. And those that feel otherwise either have their priorities mixed up, or they don't care about you enough to warrant giving them a gift in the first place.
Leave Some Room for Unexpected Gifts
If we spend our entire gift buying budget to buy Christmas gifts, this will reduce the amount we can spend on giving surprise gifts on no special occasion. Gifts that totally surprise the recipient tend to bring more joy to the recipient, and therefore more joy to the giver.
Don't Buy Into the Hype
The stress caused by financial problems is one of the leading causes in the breakdown of relationships, yet marketing experts have convinced many of us that our love for our loved ones is directly proportional to the amount of money we spend on the gifts.
That, of course, is total hogwash and should be viewed as an insult to your intelligence!
So to avoid getting caught up in the hype, be sure to continually remind yourself and your family members that the job of marketing experts is to make profits for their employers, not to strengthen your relationships.
Thoughtful and unselfish acts of kindness express your love for your friends and family, not shiny formations of inanimate objects.
Don't Spend All of Your Quality Time
The more you attempt to show how much you love your loved ones by spending large amounts of money on their gifts, the more time you will need to allocate to working to earn the gift money. In turn this leaves less time for what your loved ones really want, which is for you to spend more quality time with them.
Become Your Own Credit Card Company
Instead of putting your gift purchases on high-interest credit cards, open a separate savings or Christmas Club account, apply for a debit card assigned to that account, and then begin making periodic deposits into that account.
This way, when it's time to start your Christmas shopping you can use your debit card to make purchases, which will totally remove the financial stress and buyer's remorse that might otherwise ruin your holiday spirit.
Plus, by paying back your own gift account instead paying back a high-interest credit card, the interest you will save will allow you to increase next year's Christmas budget by the amount you are saving. Super cool!
And of course, if you want to relieve the financial stress from other gift giving occasions, fund your gift account with enough to cover all gift-buying occasions (birthdays, anniversaries, graduations, etc.).
Act Now to Preserve and Strengthen Your Christmas Joy
If the gift-buying aspect of Christmas is any way diminishing your Christmas joy -- and/or creating post-Christmas spending remorse -- call an emergency family meeting now and hash out a plan for eliminating the causes.