In 2020, Americans spent a record $789.4 billion in November and December, an 8.3% gain over 2019. Several recent surveys found that a significant number of Americans not just feel the pressure but also end up overspending during the holidays. According to a survey from Bankrate.com, nearly two-thirds of adults feel the pressure to spend more than they’d like, or more than they have on holiday-related things.
You can start by learning to cope with financial stress and effectively managing your financial situation can help you feel more in control of your life, reduce your stress, and build a more secure future.
Since the holidays are just around the corner, which means it’s time to enjoy vacations, catch up with family and friends, and eat great food. While the holidays are about quality time and making memories, it’s easy to get caught up with spending money.
Gifts tend to be where people spend most of their money, but “it’s not just on gifts,” said Brian Nelson Ford, a financial well-being executive at SunTrust Banks. “It’s also on food and drinks, on travel, outfits, and even home decor. A lot of folks are feeling that pressure to spend more than they have.”
More than 70% said they’d spent more than they’re comfortable with on presents, and 65% of those with kids under 18 said they’d be willing to go into debt for them.
A number of studies have demonstrated a cyclical link between financial worries and mental health problems such as depression, anxiety, and substance abuse. Financial problems like loans, student loans, bills, credit cards balance, and mortgages can adversely impact your mental health.
The stress of debt or other financial issues leaves you feeling depressed or anxious. Adding all these health problems can lead to multiple chronic conditions.
It’s easy to get caught up in the holiday spirit and overspend. But the thrill of giving nice gifts and hosting big parties and fancy Christmas dinners is brief compared with the stress that comes later when you have to pay for it all. When you start a routine of planning ahead, saving money, and sticking to a budget, you can avoid debt and keep your spirits up long after the holiday lights go out.
Having a financial plan helps you decide your short-term and long-term financial goals. Fear and stress from money problems can damage your self-esteem, make you feel flawed, and fill you with a sense of despair. By creating a financial plan, you can prepare for emergencies, achieve financial security and get early retirement.
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