How the Holidays Contribute to Financial Stress

How the Holidays Contribute to Financial Stress

Saturday, 03 October 2020 13:15

The holidays are upon us. Thanksgiving and Christmas are nearing and are a welcome reprieve for many families in Wilkes and throughout northwest North Carolina. It has been a difficult year for many in our area as families have had to navigate working from home, remote learning, and financial stress. Many Wilkesboro and North Wilkesboro residents have spent weeks or months furloughed by their employers. Some have been let go altogether. While traditional family gatherings may be somewhat truncated this year, seeing the people we love the most may be a delightful break from this challenging year.

However, with so much financial uncertainty for families in the area, the holiday season may actually be a stressful time. With so many extra expenses, money troubles may seem exponentially worse. If you are dreading family get-togethers due to your financial situation, we are here to help you think through how to make the season better.


How to Find Relief From Holiday Financial Stress

1) Identify Why You Are Stressed

Why are the holidays causing you financial stress? Determining what makes you anxious and frustrated during the season and can help you figure out how to reduce your discomfort. Are there certain family members who want to talk about money and finances when you are uncomfortable? Is your stress due to comparisons you’re making in your own mind toward friends and family that seem to be more financially stable? Are you frustrated that you were not able to get the quality of gifts for your children and family that you feel like they deserve?

Give yourself a break. Try to remember that everyone’s situation is different, and yours could change to be more like what you feel it should be in a relatively short time. 

If possible, try to avoid the people and conversations that make you uncomfortable. If necessary, skip or reduce your time at the gatherings that make you most uncomfortable. But most of all, do not beat yourself up about what you cannot control this holiday season.

2) Create a Holiday Budget

Many Americans do not have a holiday budget at all. However, Thanksgiving and Christmas can be quite expensive. You are trying to make sure you get gifts for your children and family, sometimes failing to remember the various friends and extended family for whom you will end up making purchases. 

The cost of hosting family gatherings with food, decorations, and other accommodations may be unexpected. Before you make plans plans about where to go, who to invite, and what to eat, create a holiday budget that is realistic. Plan not to overspend.

3) Avoid Situations that Contribute to Financial Stress

This has been a challenging year for everyone in northwest North Carolina. If you know that certain holiday gatherings will lead to money-related stress, you have a built in excuse to avoid it. 

If you are reading this article in a time where the pandemic has passed, the world has changed in such a way that you can, in the interest of safety and health, skip the most stressful holiday gatherings. 

Perhaps you can consider adding those situations back to your list when you are more financially confident.

4) Make a Plan to Reduce Debt

If debt is a stress point during the holiday season, it is time to make a plan to reduce it. Americans are in more debt than ever, due to a myriad of factors. 

While your debt may be due to decisions related to credit cards, student loans, mortgages, and more, it is no reason to beat yourself up. In this time, careers and jobs are not as certain as they once were, and it is very quick and easy to get behind very quickly. ‘Tis the season for making your plan to tackle your debt and be more financially confident.

5) Consider Bankruptcy

One of the steps you can take as you tackle your debt situation is bankruptcy. That word is scary for many and may feel like something you want to avoid at all costs, but there are misconceptions about bankruptcy that a good attorney can help you understand. Bankruptcy does not have to be scary or taboo. It can be one of the best choices you make to reduce your debt and increase your financial confidence.

Hopefully, by implementing these tips, you can reduce holiday stress and enjoy time with your family and friends. If you want to take a big step forward in tackling your excess debt, Robert P. Laney is here to help. We have walked clients through the process of bankruptcy and have the expertise to ensure you have the best experience possible. Bankruptcy can be a scary word, but it is a viable and useful option for those who want to tackle their debt.