Holidays, Finances, and the Stress of it All!

Celebrating the holidays should be the most wonderful time of the year…unless you’re feeling stressed! With the additional financial pressures that come with the “season of giving” many military families often feel the stress from being separated from family and friends.  Service to county doesn't break for holidays or special occasions, servicemembers are still away on deployment, finances may already be tight, and that doesn't leave a lot of money for gifts. However, servicemembers and their families are some of the most deserving – Thank you for your sacrifice throughout the year!

If you are reaching your holiday breaking point, here are a few ideas to help you lessen holiday financial stress:

Create a Holiday Budget

Creating a holiday budget is a very good way to prevent overspending and lessen the stress through the holidays. Once you have a spending plan, stick to it! Taking time to plan your gifts and organize holiday expenses instead of random and last-minute spending, you will be surprised at how much you can actually achieve while potentially enjoying the process.

Taking control of your holiday budget and creating a spending plan can make your holidays go a lot smoother.  Explore creative ways to share the joy that is this time of the year, relieving much of the stress during this season and avoid the dread of unexpected January bills.

Beware:  Online Holiday Shopping Traps – Phony Shopping Websites 
It doesn't matter if it's the day after Thanksgiving or New Year’s Eve, cyber criminals don't take a holiday. Thieves are in the business of stealing money and, especially during the holiday season, online shoppers can be vulnerable prey. Learn more here.

Create a Shopping Strategy & a Specific Dollar Amount

This time of year Military Saves has a number of excellent news articles including How to Avoid Post Holiday HeadachesFive Tips for an Affordable Thanksgiving Dinner, and 5 Tips for Saving Before the Holidays. They include information about make a holiday list and ways to save for the holidays. 

Military families tend to be a very close knit community of neighbors and friends. If you find yourself or notice another family in need this holiday season, connect them with local resources available for military families such as your local USO or Marine Corps’ Toys for Tots program. Many military service organizations provide a wide variety of holiday support to servicemembers, and holiday support at local installations can be an option. Contact the family center at your nearest installation and ask about the support provided this year.

Tip of the Day

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