Five Simple Ways to Make Your Holidays Stress-Free

This is such a special time of  year. It's filled with parties and great food, time with family and gifts, and if we're not careful, more debt. As we head into the peak of the holiday season, I want to share five simple ways you can keep your season merry and bright rather than expensive and stressful.

#1 Make a list and check it twice. It's so easy to get caught up in the spirit and make impulse buys while you're out and about. Keep it in check by making a list of what you intend to buy and stick to it. 

#2 Have a budget for holiday spending. You know it's coming so why not plan for it all year long? If you intend to spend $500, set aside $50 each month for your holiday spending fund and you'll be stress free knowing you have it all covered.

#3 Open a Christmas Club account. These accounts are great ways to keep that money you're setting aside separate. Continue to put money in there month after month and around October, you'll get a check just in time to do some holiday shopping.

#4 Use cash. A great way to keep from overspending is always to rely on the cash you have on hand. Avoid using credit over the holidays and when others are receiving those nasty bills in the new year, you will still be jolly knowing that you kept it within your budget.

#5 Sell or donate the old before bringing in the new. Take stock of what you already have on hand and make a little extra holiday cash by selling your stuff that you no longer want or need. If you don't want to go the selling route, you can always donate it to a local charity. This is an extra special time to remember others who aren't as fortunate. 

This is a joyful time of year so don't let overspending and debt ruin it. Use these simple tips and you are sure to be smiling through the whole season.