(BPT) - With the pandemic causing upheaval in all of our lives, the holidays will feel different this year, across every dimension, including financially. With money worries on the rise this year for many, navigating this time while still participating in traditions and festivities may call for some new approaches to how we celebrate together.
Amanda Clayman, financial therapist and Prudential’s Financial Wellness Advocate, has some tips for spreading holiday cheer while keeping your financial anxiety at a low:
- Know Your Goals: Knowledge is power. Sit down with your statements to learn exactly how much expendable income you’re working with. Then ask yourself what your long-term vision is for your money and life. Try automating transfers into your savings account to work toward those goals. The best part? You can spend the rest guilt-free on holiday fun.
- Use Cash: When it’s safe to do so in store or for curbside pick-ups, using cash has its benefits for limiting your spending. Seeing a number on a screen is not as powerful of an experience as actually taking that money from your wallet, counting it out, and handing it over. Using cash can drive home the impact of purchases in a way that illustrates the true cost of those items and inspires changed behavior.
- Hit Snooze on Spending: When it comes to spending, our minds are quick to react. In the moment, a purchase can seem perfectly reasonable, even necessary, but a mere 24 hours later we see the light of day. Putting a pause on any spending choices prevents us from making emotionally driven decisions we may later regret.
- Get Creative: For many Americans, the pandemic has limited our ability to buy gifts for the ones we love. This can feel painful, especially since gift giving is a love language. Giving during the holidays this year doesn’t need to involve spending money. You can get creative with homemade presents, gifting quality time, or doing an act of service that is meaningful to your loved one.
- Spend with Heart: This holiday season, keep your spirits up by using your money to bring you and others joy. No matter the size of your budget, consider spending on the items and activities that put your pennies to good use. Grabbing celebratory drinks with friends? Go to your favorite small business. Buying a gift for your daughter? Choose a brand linked to a good cause.