This article is reprinted by permission from NerdWallet. Holidays are meant to be full of love, but sometimes they’re full of stress and anxiety. One of the culprits can be the unspoken financial commitment of family dinners, travel and chaotic gift-buying. Sometimes the stress is beyond your control, but there are some things you can champion like planning and budgeting.
We asked a few of our Nerds to write down their best strategies for managing holiday stress and spending. Here are their responses.Set a gift budget If money wasn’t a thing, we could buy our loved ones anything they want or need. But money is a factor, so it’s ideal to work within a budget, which means having a limit for how much you spend on gifts. You can also take it a step further by agreeing on a spending cap with your loved ones, something senior copy editor Jim McNett does. “The small circle of people I exchange gifts with have a quiet understanding to keep gifts under about $100,” he said. Related: 5 tips to rein in holiday spending and manage debtGive secondhand gifts It can feel taboo to give loved ones used gifts, but giving secondhand gifts is a cost-effective option. Copy chief Erica Harrington sometimes buys gifts for her loved ones secondhand. “I shop on Etsy
and eBay. For instance, my mom liked one of my purses I bought several years ago, so I searched for the brand on eBay
and found her something similar from the same brand,” Harrington said. To give it a new feel, get nice packaging for the gift. If you’re not sold on the idea of secondhand gifts, start with small, slightly used items like books. It’s also possible to find new items for less in charity shops and on online platforms like eBay, although you may have to bid for them. Aside from buying gifts secondhand, you could also get holiday decorations from charity thrift shops. Plus: More people plan to use ‘Buy Now Pay Later’ for holiday shopping this year — but there’s one ‘troubling sign’Take a break from spending in the new year It’s possible to spend more during the holidays than you do the rest of the year. Gifts as …