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It’s no secret that holiday season has become more consumerist than ever. These days holiday lights are up, and Santa is in stores from October on. We start to hear about family vacations, Christmas dinners and New Year Eve plans beginning September . Kids start giving their ‘want’ list which includes most of what they hear and see on television. But, what if we are on a tight budget, or we are financially struggling to make it one day at a time. Do we plunge into more debt trying to keep up with the Joneses, and to satisfy everybody else’ wants, or do we take a stand to make a decision for ourselves?

It’s a personal choice, but it’s prudent to take a stand for yourselves so that you don’t look back at the holidays as a nightmare, but look forward to every year’s holiday season. Here are a few ways to handle the most common challenges during holidays, on a budget:
Gifts: 
 
Giving gifts is an integral part of holiday season. There are two approaches we can take.
One is to limit gifts to immediate family (spouse, kids and parents) and that too by giving just one gift. Research has proved that spending time with family is the best gift you can give. Click HERE for a research based analysis on the most important gifts.
Second is to expand giving gifts to a bigger audience, but limit the amount you will spend on each gift. Click HERE for an excellent gift giving guideline. Once you have identified people, HERE is a list of inexpensive, but useful gifts. Remember, giving gifts should be out of love and not out of duty!!
Holiday Meals and Parties:
 
Here is a quick question? Name all the dishes you had during the last holiday season? If you are like me, you cannot remember what you ate last week, let alone last year. So, it’s not about setting up an expensive table full of dishes. It’s about sharing experiences and spending time together. That doesn’t mean that holiday dinners and parties should be french fries and chicken nuggets. HERE is a good read on making good meals on a budget.
Holiday Travel:
Traveling costs will escalate during the holiday season and the stress of traveling adds up due to crowded airports and roadways. But, there are lot of ways families can travel without breaking the back. Planning ahead of time, and booking tickets/hotels/cars way in advance, always helps to reduce cost. It’s amazing that people travel across the country to see something new, when they have not explored their own city to its fullest. So, if you are tight on budget, decide to explore your city with family. HERE is an ultimate guide to travel when you are on a strict budget.

Decorations:

It’s a good time to ask yourselves whether you are competing with everybody in your neighborhood, or if you trying to create memories with your family. Decorations are intended to celebrate holidays and there are several ways we can create our own decorations. HERE are some great examples.

If you are financially struggling or on a tight budget, you still can enjoy the holidays. However, you can also plan ahead so that the future years are the brightest for you. Your friends at Mayanah will help you attain your dreams.

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