It’s the “season for giving,” so spending money and sharing with others seems fitting, right? So then why do the holidays represent such a stressful time? This stress can often occur when you don’t have a financial plan or budget in place. Here are 5 tips we’ve crafted to help you stick to your holiday budget. Remember that whatever you’re spending during the holiday season, that cost isn’t tied to the value of the people you’re spending that time with. It’s the relationship that matters most!

Tip 1: Create a Budget and Stick to It 

When starting to draft your holiday, consult spending from holidays past. Identify some things you feel you could have done differently and apply them to this year’s planning. 

Tip 2: Give Personalized Gifts Instead of Expensive Gifts

A small, thoughtful gift is worth more than a costly gift that someone may never use. Avoid impulses to shop at trendy department stores and start the holiday by taking a moment to think about what those on your list could really use. Perhaps instead of purchasing a gift, you make something from scratch that is extra personal for your friends and family. 

Tip 3: Organize Group Volunteering Instead of Holiday Parties

Organize a volunteer day for you and a group of friends and family. You’ll get to spend quality time together – plus, you’ll come out of the day feeling proud of your efforts rather than suffering from buyer’s remorse. Plus, everyone can benefit from volunteering. Your friends and family will thank you for it, but it won’t happen without your gift of effort to organize.

Tip 4: Resist the Urge! 

We all just want everyone to be happy and feel loved during the holiday season. To make that happen, we sometimes think that giving the ultimate gift is what will do it. It won’t. Give the gift of your time instead. Nowadays, with technology, we forget that the minutes together are what matter most.

Tip 5: Treat Your Credit Card Like a Debit Card

Set a limit for how much you want to spend and stick to it. Pretending like your credit card is like your bank account can help you make sure you’re not spending more than you can afford to.