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how do you navigate financial anxiety during the holidays? by callie

it’s the season of giving! with Black Friday, clearances, and every other sale, you are tempted to indulge and buy everything for everyone – believe me, i’ve been there! “what if i miss out?” “what if this isn’t expensive enough?” “what if i can’t afford to gift all my friends, even though i love them equally?” as someone who has had these questions pop up from time to time, i’m here to share my experience, and reassure anyone who may be feeling this way. 

first things first, set a budget! just like how you set boundaries in your every day life and relationships, set boundaries in your relationship with money. determine what is the best for you according to your needs and wants, then figure out how much you can comfortably spend on your loved ones without adding to your financial stress. consider last year's expenses, income, and any unexpected costs. remember: it’s okay to prioritize yourself, and it’s okay to cut down on spending — online consumer culture may tell you otherwise, but everyone is different. avoid spending beyond your means and feel empowered to say no to additional expenses. 

other than a budget, another plan you should have is what type of gifts you want to give, and to who you want to gift. decide what's truly important to you and your family and friends. a fun way to try this is by having them take a love language test online! essentially, focus your budget on your priorities.

the third tip is to get creative! maybe try alternative gift options like DIY gifts, or offering your time and skills. not to mention, giving secondhand gifts is always an option. i always like to call secondhand “pre-loved” because that’s exactly what it is – no shame in being sustainable and thinking outside the box! 

last, but certainly not least, make sure to communicate. talk to your loved ones about your financial situation and set expectations about gifting, explain your budget limitations, and suggest other ways to celebrate together. the holidays is about meaning, so keep in spirit, practice gratitude, and don’t let materialism ruin the most wonderful time of year!

thank you to these sources for information used in the article::

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