Making ends meet with the pressure to buy this holiday season

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Many Americans are tight on money as some are even running out of emergency savings. And the pressure is amplified as the holiday season encourages consumers to buy.

With supply chain issues and other effects of the pandemic people are paying more attention to their spending and who they spend it on.

Economic expert Barry Bigelow says, "Christmas traditions are often a very beautiful thing. But sometimes they can be a burden.”
A burden on spending, the pressure to give each family member a gift causes some to reach into their savings to. Bigelow says, “As families expand that financial burden can be something that breaks people or makes them put Christmas on a credit card which is not ideal."

So when Christmas comes around have a plan that matches your finances. Barry Bigelow lays out the ground rules by saying, "The first thing you want to do is sit down and look at your budget. And that means going back and looking at all those expenses for every week, every month, and going back and going are all of these necessary?”

Reducing those expenses is ideal when rearranging your spending. Barry says asking the question of, “Is there a way I can reduce my expenses to save a little room to save towards a financial goal or a goal like Christmas presents”, is one way to evaluate your expenses.

And to reduce the stress of planning, the best way to feel comfortable is just to save. "Having an emergency budget or a budget for unplanned expenses is the number one way to take stress out of finances”, says Bigelow.

Saving money to prepare you for dire situations is a great thing to do during these uncertain times. And Barry reminds us one of the most important things to remember this Christmas saying, "As you are preparing for Christmas, if you are a person that is struggling on how you are going to buy gifts, realize the first gift of Christmas was a person. So your gift of presence at a gathering is a bigger gift that anything you can buy at a store.”