GREENSBORO, N.C. — 'Tis the season that is supposed to be about giving, so why do you feel like the holidays are taking all of your money?
Debt expert and author Ja'Net Adams says the buck stops here -- by halting the Christmas cringe of overspending.
"Christmas easily wins as the time that people want the most from you. But, what if you are trying to find your way to financial freedom? Then this time of year can be hard," Adams said.
To ease holiday financial stress, take a good, hard look at your gift list and cut out the majority of adults.
"People who know me know that I don't buy gifts for adults. The only time family can get me to buy a gift is when we pick names," Adams said.
So, when the family is together Thanksgiving, draw adult names from a hat. Buy a gift only for the person whose name you draw.
As for gifts for friends, think experience, not money.
"Your true friends are not friends with you because of what you can buy them. So, with your friends, give them the gift of time together. Schedule a get-together at your home where everyone brings food to share."
Lastly, don't discount a gift for you.
"This is not where I am going to say, 'Treat yourself.' Create a better life for your future self. Before the New Year comes in, make sure you are saving for your future. Is your 401K set up? Have you sat down with a financial advisor to start investing for your future? Focus on this type of gift that will keep on giving."