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How to reduce holiday shopping stress as a single parent

If you’re a newly divorced single parent, then the holidays can be more stressful than usual. You have to coordinate the holiday visitation schedule with your former spouse, plan your traditional Christmas dinner, and buy gifts for everyone. If the divorce left you with a lower household income than last year, then you might be wondering how you’ll make it until New Years!

Here are some ways that you can minimize the stress and get your holiday shopping done without sacrificing your new budget.

Don’t wait until the last minute

When you’re newly divorced, you have a lot on your mind, and might not think about shopping for gifts at the mall until the last minute. This is the easiest way to overspend, as you haven’t given yourself time to compare pricing and get the best deal. If work and family commitments don’t allow you enough time to go shopping, then consider shopping online or providing your list to a friend or family member so they can include your items in their list while they’re at the stores.

Follow your favorite brands online

Does your preschooler love LeapPad electronics for kids? Does your teenage daughter have a favorite clothing retailer?  Add these brands to your social media feed. Many companies post limited-time or last-minute sales announcements during the holidays, and you could get the kids presents they will love while saving money in the process.

Put your creative side to work

If money is especially tight, then why not let your creativity flow and make gifts for friends and family? If you have a hobby you excel at, such as baking, candy making, knitting, or woodworking, then make personalized gifts for each recipient. Doing something you love is also a great way to relieve stress and boost self-esteem.

Support an entrepreneur

Sites like Etsy allow creative individuals of all backgrounds sell their work directly to the public. You can find handcrafted presents such as toys, jewelry, home decor, and even vintage clothing, at a lower price than in traditional stores, and you will be supporting a small business. If you have creative talents, then you can explore the possibility of showcasing your own products on Etsy in the future.

Buy gift cards

Adults and older children will love a gift card from their favorite store. If there’s anyone on your list who is difficult to buy for or time is at a premium, then buying a gift card will spare you the hassle of fighting the crowds and give your loved ones a present they’re guaranteed to like.

The first holiday season after divorce is always a challenge, but with some planning and strategic buying decisions, you can not only make it a success but also create memories and traditions you will want to repeat.

Jayson Lutzky is a Bronx, NY attorney with over 35 years of experience. If you are considering divorce, then set up a free in-office initial consultation with Mr. Lutzky. He has helped clients file both contested and uncontested divorces over the years. Call 718-329-9500 to set up an appointment and visit www.MyNewYorkCityLawyer.com/Divorce to learn more.

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