By Lee-Ann Watanabe, Wellness Educator

During the holidays, finances may be a stressor. We know it’s not easy to talk about money, your savings and debt. Nevertheless, discussing uncomfortable money matters is key in finding financial stability.

At WYAO Hawaii, we help companies ensure the highest level of employee health with a well balanced program that includes financial health.

Don’t let Scrooge get you this season. Use the 3 tips below to be savvy about your holiday spending and even spending in general.

1) Set a Holiday Budget: Guarantee a happy new year by reining in your holiday spending. To do that, create a holiday budget and stick to it. According to an October 2019 survey by the National Retail Federation, respondents said they expected to spend $1,048 for holiday items (including gifts, decor, greeting cards, etc.) this year. Make a complete gift list; stick to your budget and check your emotions at the door (no impulse shopping).

2) Have an Emergency Fund: A study from the University of Chicago found that more than half of all Americans don’t have enough savings to cover expenses in case their paycheck doesn’t come. Aim to put away three to six months of your expenses depending on your personal needs. The point is to have a pool of money you can take from comfortably in case of unexpected and necessary expenses.

3) Consider Out of the Box (literally) Gift Giving: Give the gift of your time. Your out of town family and friends might love nothing more than a visit from you sprinkled with lots of big hugs.

If travel isn’t in your budget, a small, thoughtful and personalized gift goes a long way. Take a moment to think about what your gift recipients could really use and then give that gift a special touch. A homemade gift or a truly personalized gift perhaps with name engraving is a gift that will surely be treasured and used!

Don’t let holiday debt Scrooge your holiday fun. Spend time with your family and friends and base your gift buying on sentiment rather than cost. Follow these tips and you’ll find yourself having a Holly Jolly Christmas!

WYAO Hawaii is designed to support companies in the shift from an ‘activity-based’ wellness program to a thriving, integrated results-oriented wellness system. We are grounded in a nationally recognized and research-based model to assist companies through a seven-step sequence toward Workplace Wellness Success.

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