Impulsive or Prepared - What Will You Be This Holiday Season?

At the end of every year, families come together to celebrate the long-awaited holiday season. And with these yearly traditions comes the time for loved ones and friends to exchange the carefully selected gifts that have been chosen for each other. Thanks to this custom, the holidays can be a financially stressful season for some – but here are a few ways you can alleviate some of that stress and instead focus on the celebration.
List down the people to shop for and budget strictly around that list.(SingSaver 2015)

The most important thing you can do long before the holiday shopping craze begins is to sit down and write out exactly who you need to find gifts for and begin to develop a general budget that you will allocate to each person. Be sure to save more money in the months leading up to the season so you will be ready when the time comes and don’t need to rely on high-interest credit cards to cover the costs.

Allocate the money you saved on travelling towards gifts.(The Straits Times 2020)

While it’s true that investing can be a risky option, there are ways to reduce your overall risk and produce returns. You have control over the fees you pay, the amount of diversification you take on, and you can be more successful in your strategy when you align what you’re willing to risk with what your overall goal is for that investment.

Stop impulse buys and resist temptation to go overboard.(SingSaver 2015)1

All purchases are based off of emotional decisions – whether that’s fear of missing out or hoping the purchase will complete some other psychological need, there’s a reason we all fall victim to impulsive shopping. It’s easy to worry you didn’t get enough for others as you rush around the store the week leading up to your family celebrations, but your pre-planning and budget will remind you that you can skip the last minute add-ons that you’re so tempted to throw in your cart as you’re checking out!

Plan a gift-exchange with your extended family or friends.(Yahoo Finance Singapore 2017)

Those with large, extended families may find the holidays financially stressful if they have a long list of people they need to find the right gift for, but there are other non-traditional ways to celebrate the season. Thanks to fun games like “White Elephant” or “Yankee Swap”, everyone purchases one gift that goes into a pile, and everyone chooses from the pile and swaps among themselves until everyone is happy.

It’s easy to lose sight of the fact that the holidays are focused on spending time and sharing the love with the most important people in your life – not finding the most expensive or unique gift out there! Remember that those who matter most in this world care more about your presence than your presents.

In light of all the other events in 2020, this holiday season is the perfect time to reflect on how you and your family came together during some of the most difficult parts of the year. If gifts are outside of your financial reach, give your loved ones the gift of time, the most precious gift of all.

And as we approach a new year, remember – you can always plan ahead for the next holiday season little by little over the next twelve months, so you’re completely prepared for the future festivities!

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Content Sources
1 - Dado, Lauren (November 2015), 25 Ways for Singaporeans to Save Money on Christmas, retrieved from SingSaver
2 - Dado, Lauren (October 2015), 4 Easy Ways to Stop Impulse Shopping in Singapore, retrieved from SingSaver
3 - Kang, Duckju (November 2017), 5 Tips to Keep Your Holiday Spending Under Control, retrieved from Yahoo Finance Singapore
4 - Tay, Tiffany Fumiko (August 2020), Playing Tourists at Home, retrieved from The Straits Times