Your Stress-Free Holiday Starts Here
Give your bank account a boost. Lack of money is the biggest holiday stressor for 61 percent of Americans, according to a poll by the American Psychological Association. The solution is simple: Leave the plastic at home and use only cash when you shop, says Lisa Kent, a Merrill Lynch wealth-management advisor who specializes in personal finances. "If you limit your spending to the amount of money in an envelope, you'll be more focused on everything that's going out," she explains. "With credit cards, you're not."
Avoid a money meltdown. Don't let one slip become an excuse for a wild spending spree. "If you go off track and shell out more than you planned to on one thing, like a gift for your husband, make up for it by spending less on something else, like decorations," says Tiffany Bass Bukow, founder of msmoney.com, a financial education Web site.
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