The holiday season is a time of year when it can be difficult to rein in spending. If you're struggling to make payments on your student loans, it's important to budget carefully so that your gift giving doesn't cause you financial stress. It is estimated by TNS, the research agency, that the average student loan debt held by those aged 18 to 35 is $41,286.60. This makes it hard to afford large purchases like homes and cars, as well as holiday gifts.

One of the best ways to deal with financial stress at this time of year is to create a holiday shopping budget. Instead of shopping without restriction, set a gift value limit for each family member and friend. You could also consider buying groups of people a single gift instead of separate ones. For example, buying presents for every niece and nephew can be costly, but giving the family a single, larger gift could be cheaper.

As well as buying gifts, there is still time to make your own presents too. Taking the time and effort to bake, whip up some chutney, or create a piece of artwork can be much more meaningful than buying something off the shelf. Such a gift could be supplemented with a smaller, inexpensive present if you really want.

To reduce holiday season stress, it's important to plan your budget and stick to it. By starting in advance, you can maximize your savings to enjoy the season's festivities without worry.

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