More Pleasure Less Holiday Stress
The season of joy is rapidly approaching but for a lot of Canadians, the holidays are a stressful time financially. We all want to please our family and friends with that perfect gift and hope that it doesn’t break our budgets well into new year. Having a large family, we spend a lot of money during the holiday season. All that holiday cheer, weekend get-togethers and Christmas Day festivities can rack up a hefty price-tag. Budgeting and paying ourselves back with programs that offer loyalty points are annual traditions so we can enjoy what the holidays are really about, togetherness, good food and that look on a loved ones’ faces when they’re surprised with exactly what they wanted.
According to a recent survey conducted by President’s Choice Financial®, budgeting tops the list of holiday stressors at 41.3%, with choosing the right gift a close second, at 41%. Sadly, a small percentage (4%) are so stressed that they “hate” the holiday season. In reality many suffer from achieving financial freedom and that can play a big part in their overall feelings about the holidays but there are ways to reduce holiday stress.
● Plan Ahead – Prepare a list of gift recipients and gift ideas early in the year and set a budget for each gift.
● Save – Set aside what you can afford each month to use specifically for gift purchases and holiday expenses.
● Look for sales – Throughout the year watch flyers for sales on your gift list and stick to your budget.
● Buy Ahead – Try to buy at prime sales times of the year, like Black Friday and Boxing Day when you can save big on gifts.
● Use Loyalty Points – Use points you have built throughout the year with loyalty programs to purchase gifts on the list.
● Reduce Payments and Fees – Adjust outgoing payments and eliminate unnecessary fees, where possible.
According to the survey, 29% of Canadians surveyed found post-holiday bills stressful. Until I started utilizing these holiday budgeting tips, I was one of those stressed Canadians that didn’t enjoy the holiday season. Interestingly, by making smart financial budgeting decisions my outlook changed quickly; I found that I was actually planning ahead and already setting myself up for the next year. With budgeting and paying bills causing such holiday stress, the survey indicated 46% planned to use loyalty points programs to cut costs and stretch their budgets. You’ve saved points all year (I do this with my PC® points), use them when it counts; to purchase gifts, prepaid mobile or gift cards is a smart use of your PC points.
Despite budgeting efforts and our love for the holiday season, many Canadians still take a hit on their bank accounts with unnecessary bank fees. Choosing a bank, as with President’s Choice Financial, that offers a no-fee bank account and a credit card that helps you earn PC points for your holiday gift list will allow you to enjoy a financially stress-free holiday season and focus your time where it counts, your family.
What will you be using your loyalty points for this holiday season?
Disclosure: I am a brand ambassador for President’s Choice Financial® and receive compensation for my participation in the program. The opinions on this blog are my own.