Many individuals like to splurge on their friends and family and even themselves during the holiday season. A budget can help you avoid spending more money than necessary, which is especially important if you're on a fixed income. One tip is to take cash out of your account prior to shopping, with the exact amount you've budgeted for. Once the cash is gone, you're done shopping.
If you shop online, use only one specific credit card for your purchases. Ask your credit card company to lower your credit limit if you tend to spend too much during the holidays. This will help you avoid the stress and anxiety that comes in January when the bills start rolling in.
There may be many things you'll need during the busy holiday season. Baking supplies, indoor and outdoor decorations, party supplies and of course, presents. Make lists before you go shopping to limit the number of trips you'll need to make in order to buy these items.
If you don't have someone shopping with you, call ahead to the stores you are visiting and find out if a shopping assistant can help you find the items on your list. This is especially helpful when items are high on the shelves and the shopping aisles are clogged with other shoppers. In some stores, shopping assistants can have all the items you require prior to your visit so all you have to do is pay and go!
While you may enjoy visiting the malls during the holiday season, dealing with crowds and waiting in long lines can be overwhelming and tiresome. Online shopping is a way to avoid the crowds and trips in bad weather. Great deals can be found on almost every online retailer's website, starting on Black Friday. Visit your favorite websites to get the best deals, and sign up for their email newsletters so you'll get money saving coupons and sale reminders.
If you feel sad or depression during the holidays, acknowledge your feelings. It is okay to feel sad sometimes, especially when expectations for a "perfect holiday" are at an all time high. If your family cannot visit you, find other ways to communicate with each other. Some ways to do this include letters, emails, phone calls and Skype.
Reach out to community members and organizations if you are feeling lonely and sad. If you are able, volunteer your time at organizations that need help. It is said that it is difficult to dwell on your own problems when you are helping others in need.