2016 News Releases

Budgeting key to reducing financial stress during the holiday season

Many families find the holidays stressful because they worry about overspending during this time of year. Plan ahead by setting spending limits, recommends John Nugent, an associate professor in Texas Woman’s University’s School of Management.

“Spending too much on gifts, travel and other holiday-related expenses can put personal and financial strain on a family, which can extend well into the new year,” Nugent says. “Set your spending limits and make a commitment to yourself that, no matter what, you will not exceed your budget.”

Nugent provides these tips to help you establish and keep to a manageable budget for holiday spending:

1. Write your limits down. Studies show a written plan helps with sticking to a budget.

2. Use categories for expenses. Make sure you include these on your list:

  • Gifts by individual (family members, friends and co-workers)
  • Charitable donations
  • Clothing for yourself and other family members
  • Shipping expenses (Try to find stores that provide free shipping.)
  • Travel and hotel expenses
  • Meals (food and beverages, as well as plates, utensils, chair rentals, etc.)
  • Special events
  • Holiday cards and postage
  • Holiday decorations

3. Keep within your limits. If it appears you will go over budget, cut out an expense or two.

4. Spread out your purchases over several months so expenses do not occur in the same month or two.

5. Start shopping early so you can find sales or coupons for items you know you will be buying.

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Page last updated 3:24 PM, April 30, 2020