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8 Ways To Ease The Financial Burden In The Run Up To Christmas 2022

Written by: Shona Hirons, Executive Contributor

Executive Contributors at Brainz Magazine are handpicked and invited to contribute because of their knowledge and valuable insight within their area of expertise.

 

I was talking to someone the other day who told me that she was feeling very stressed about Christmas this year, because despite having a good job, she is going to have to make some sacrifices this Christmas, but didn’t know how.


A phot of a businesswoman asks for help, she must work at Christmas.

She told me that usually, they put their Christmas lights up in mid-November, but with the increase in energy prices, she won’t be putting any Christmas lights up this year. She also has 3 children to buy for, 7 nieces and nephews, parents, friends, and a secret Santa at work. This got me thinking of a smarter way for her to prepare for Christmas, along with anybody else who is struggling.


Three years ago we were struggling financially and had to rely on food banks in order to just eat from one week to the next. When it came to Christmas that year, we looked at smarter ways to enjoy it and we had a fabulous Christmas. In fact, Christmas lights cost less to run than you may think.


Experts at Festive Lights have concluded that households with LED lights could end up spending less than £1 to light up their homes this year because Christmas lights are LED powered, which is more energy-efficient and less costly. Financial overwhelm can be one of the biggest causes of stress and can leave you feeling burnt out. The World Health Organisation describes burnout as “a syndrome conceptualized as resulting from chronic workplace stress that has not been successfully managed…”


However, is it time for this definition to be changed?


The last couple of years has had an impact on our emotional and financial stress. I speak with people every day who say they are feeling burnt out and immediately they blame the workplace. Often, when I dig deeper, the cause isn’t because of their work, but other problems, such as finances, illness, grief, relationship issues, and unhealthy boundaries. In turn, this has a negative impact on their performance at work, because the feelings associated with burnout, such as obvious behavioral changes, denial, withdrawal, depression, working harder, because they are falling behind, neglecting their needs, and conflict with others, can all lead to a complete breakdown if not managed.


The workplace has a duty of care to their staff to ensure their staff is well and perhaps more could be done by organizations to listen to their staff and take time to understand what is causing them to feel burnt out, rather than just putting more pressure on them.


When you are feeling overwhelmed, it can be hard to see the wood through the trees and it is easy to start catastrophizing things. What we need to do is look for the solution, rather than focus on the problem.

Here are 8 ways to ease the financial burden this Christmas.


1. Communicate with family and friends


Do you really need to buy a gift for every family member and friend? The chances are, they will be feeling the same as you because the cost of living has affected everyone. Three years ago, instead of buying a gift for everyone, we did a Secret Santa for the whole family. Each person ended up buying one gift, which cost slightly more, but everybody got something really nice and something they could use, rather than it just ending up in the car boot sale in a few months time.


2. Set a budget


Following on from the first suggestion, make sure everybody is on the same page when it comes to a budget. Ours was £50 and if you’re smart, starting from mid-November, there are some great bargains to be hard in the shops. And don’t forget Black Friday (25th November) and Cyber Monday (28th November).


3. Use your loyalty points


I had a surprise when I did some Christmas shopping in Boots recently. I had picked up some great bargains around the store but still had a shock when my bill came to £133. I decided to see if I had any points on my Advantage Card and it cleared the whole lot. I decided to check my other loyalty points with other stores and realized I have lots of rewards waiting for me. If you save your points until you really need them, you could do most, if not all, of your Christmas shopping with them.


4. Get creative

I saw a candle-making kit the other day for less than £20. Not only will a candle make a great gift for anyone, but when they are hand-made, they mean more to people, they can also help keep energy costs down, and making them can help take your mind off your worries.


5. Buy early


If you do have lots to buy this Christmas, the earlier you start the better. Buy things when they are on offer. Just make sure you remember where you put them. There is a chance that Bird Flu could affect the supplies of turkeys this Christmas, so if you can, buy it now and freeze it.


6. Make a plan


It can be easy to go over the top and buy far too much in the run-up to Christmas. Keep a planner and stick to it.


7. Recycle old gifts


How many gifts are sitting in your wardrobe from last Christmas that you didn’t use? Every year I end up with about a dozen tubs of body butter, which is very nice, but I’ll probably end up with the same this year. I know that my daughter and friends will appreciate this for Christmas.


8. Don't waste food


One of my favorite meals of the year is a bubble and squeak from the leftover vegetables on Christmas Day. I make a habit of buying vegetables when they are on offer in the supermarket and making a big tray of roasted vegetables. I use the leftovers for a delicious bubble and squeak the following day whatever the time of year. One of the most important things I’ve learned is to communicate and swallow my pride. Tough times make tougher people. With the right mindset, you can get through anything.


Follow me on Facebook, LinkedIn, and visit my website for more info!


 

Shona Hirons, Executive Contributor Brainz Magazine

Shona Hirons is an award-winning global Resilience and Burnout Coach. A breakdown from work-related stress, which led to a life-changing accident, requiring major facial reconstructive surgery and brain damage, gave her a big wake-up call. During her recovery, she went on a journey of self-discovery to rebuild her resilience, consider her values and achieve all the things she was told she couldn't do. Shona has developed strategies to boost her resilience, and now helps others to do the same. She is the CEO of Mindset in Motion, and a leader in corporate wellbeing, working with corporate clients in over 195 countries. Her mission: To improve the well-being of people and businesses throughout the world.

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