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    Tips for Stressless Holiday Spending

    3 minutes
    Tips to avoid stressful overspending this holiday season
    Stressed about holiday spending? You’re in the right place. Here we share tips on the role stress plays in holiday spending, how to prevent stress before it begins and how to deal with stress once it’s already in the mix.


    Stress and Spending
    The first step is understanding how stress impacts spending. There are three ways the stress can influence your spending.
    1. Spending habits. Stress increases the hormone cortisol making us hyper sensitive to threats, so we work hard to ease that feeling by our spending habits.

    2. Emotional spending. Stress makes us feel like we are in survival mode causing us to use resources to regain a sense of control. Many of us cope with this feeling, a loss of control, by spending, spending, spending.

    3. Altered perception of wants vs. needs. Stressful situations tend to skew our perception of what our necessities are. For instance, people who are stressed about a new job may overspend on work clothes.

    So, how can you cope with stress? In short, take measures to prevent it before it starts.

    How to prevent stress

    While we can't control every stressful situation that life throws at us, here are some time tested ways to prevent stress from taking over your mind and body.

    1. Mindfulness Mindfulness techniques such as meditation can be powerful tools in helping to prevent stress. This principle is becoming more and more popular in top companies and schools. While meditation itself has been practiced for thousands of years, it has only recently undergone scientific scrutiny. Researchers found that meditation is a successful tool for reducing anxiety and depression when practiced for as little as 10 minutes per day.

    2. Get moving Exercise and physical activity is a great way to prevent stress before it begins. When you exercise it produces a group of natural painkilling chemicals called endorphins.

    Endorphins help lift your mood and make you feel at ease. Additionally, endorphins help you sleep, which is something that is often disturbed during stressful times.

    How to deal with stress once you’ve got it

    If you are feeling the itch to impulse-spend, consider these strategies:

    1. Give it 24 hours Research shows impulse buys are one of the most common types of spending compounded by the holiday shopping frenzy. One way to avoid this spending stress is by giving ourselves the “gift of pause.” We can better combat our impulse purchases by pausing on making the purchase for 24-hours. This pause allows us to carefully consider the purchase which sometimes leads to a better deal or alternative. Trying new strategies which help us live within our means is an important milestone on the journey to financial health

    2. Find another outlet If shopping is an outlet for stress in your life consider trying something different this holiday season. As mentioned, meditation and exercise are great options, but they may not be for everyone. Consider healthy alternatives that work for you, whether it's journaling, reading, gardening or taking a stroll to your neighborhood Financial Health Center for additional support.

    Overcoming the stresses that often lead down the path of holiday overspending is not easy. The journey of financial health comes from small beginnings – often a single, tiny decision. The great news is even small choices can help to alleviate our financial stress enough to sprout the seed of financial health.

    Not sure where to go from here? Let’s talk it out together. Come into a Financial Health Center to talk with a Member Relationship Specialist on ways we can help you stress less with the gift of financial slack this holiday season.