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Preparing for stress-free Christmas

Christmas period is at the corner and making adequate preparation no doubt will help one overcome stress associated with the season. Investigation has shown that some consumers do not make proper budget for the period as a result they end up over-spending.

Guess what? Over-spending during festive period like Christmas makes consumer run to debts in the New Year.

Benjamin Duru, a Lagos-based, consumer analyst, said that making adequate budget for the season is crucial as it will enable home makers to minimise spending while the period lasts.
Duru also opined that families who do budget do not suffer much financial challenges in the New Year.

“Christmas is a season characterised with over-spending; without proper planning, such an individual will over-spend and suffer huge financial challenges in the New Year,” he said.

However, he advised home makers to avoid those past family Christmas traditions that encourage over-spending, adding, “Whatever your family practices during the season, if what was done in the past doesn’t work today, stop or change the practice. Just because something is traditional is no reason to keep doing it.”

Some other experts observed that the challenge one encounters while keeping one’s spending within the constraints of a Christmas budget cannot be compared with the challenges of coping with months of debt repayments in the New Year.

Explaining further, they noted that the stress accompanying the debt can be avoided by realistically considering one’s current financial circumstances and future needs and added that settling on an amount one can comfortably afford is ideal.

Experts’ guidelines on how to achieve a stress-free Christmas

Maintain a schedule

Many families have two working spouses; single parents often work two or more jobs to make ends meet. The demands of preparing for the holidays on top of a normal work week can be overwhelming for most people. Generally, the excitement of the season and the anticipation of a perfect Christmas will inspire you to draw down energy reserves to get things done, usually by giving up leisure time and sleep. Hopefully, the inevitable crash will occur after the gifts are open, the guests are fed, and visitors leave – but not always.

Everyone remembers a meltdown or two during Christmas. Scheduling some downtime every day and week is important to save your sanity and enjoy the company of your loved ones.

Be choosy with Christmas activities

Yes, sometimes you may have one too many parties to attend, but don’t forget about the other Christmas ‘activities’ that eat up time. Do you really need to spend hours writing and sending Christmas cards to 100 of your closest acquaintances? Is it really necessary to try out that incredible but complicated dessert recipe? But if this stresses you out, there’s no reason to add it to the list.

Avoid the rush

The holiday season is no season for last minute errands or one item trips to the shopping mall. Pull out that shopping list and don’t let it go. Traffic is more congested, check out, lines are longer and availability has become the more scarce. You should combine regular errands with Christmas shopping. This has drastically cut down on the hours one spends shopping for Christmas

Get help

Just because you have a master list of one too many to-do items, that doesn’t mean you have to do them all. You can visit your local bakery instead of mixing any eggs, milk and flour yourself.

Ngozi Okpalakunne

 

 

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