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Financial and Career Tips For Surviving the Holidays

6 Tips For Surviving the Holidays

The holidays are a time for celebrating with friends, family, gifts, and plenty of delicious food. Unfortunately, they're also a time for spending way more than usual and fielding awkward questions from relatives you haven't seen all year. Follow my six holiday survival tips to make it through the next couple weeks relatively unscathed.

  • Be Prepared With Answers About Your Job — Relatives are bound to ask what you're up to these days, and not all of us have jobs that are universally understood. You want to be prepared with a response that is succinct and delivers a clear enough explanation of what it is that you do, exactly.
  • Agree on a Holiday Spending Cap — If you haven't already, contact the people on your long or short list and ask how they might feel about putting a cap on holiday spending this year.
  • Explain Why You Were Laid Off — Questions about what you're up to these days get even more uncomfortable if you're currently out of a job. You're probably sick of talking about why you were laid off and how your job search is going, but that won't keep your Uncle Ned from asking. Learn how to handle this sensitive question so that you're not left stuttering through an answer over your eggnog.

To see the rest of my survival tips, read more.

  • Keep Tracking Your Spending — During the last-minute crunch leading up to the holidays, it's easy to throw your budget out the window. But as tedious as it may be, tracking your spending now will save you from a post-holiday debt headache.
  • Shop With a Purpose — If you still have people on your list to shop for, it may be tempting to wander through the mall and hope for the best. To keep from massively overspending, try to come up with at least a few ideas and a spending limit for each person.
  • Plan Ahead For Unexpected Gifts — Receiving a gift from someone you didn't plan to buy for is always awkward, but luckily, there are graceful ways to handle it. If you want to avoid the awkwardness altogether, plan ahead and have a few extra gifts or homemade goodies on hand so you can give something back to unexpected gift-givers.
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