Are You Headed for a Financial Holiday Hangover?
By: Corey Staff
Wow, I can’t believe it’s time to pull out my Christmas tree already… YUP – I am one of those crazies that sets it up shortly after Halloween, and has the excuse that I am Ukrainian to leave it up WAY into the New Year. What can I say…. I LOVE CHRISTMAS!!
This time of year can add extra financial stress to many people. Here are some tips I hope you will find valuable this holiday season.
1. Set yourself a “SPENDING PLAN” and STICK to it!
Ask yourself, how much can I really afford to spend, and is the expectation that I need to spend that much a reality? Failing to set realistic spending limits can lead to overbearing amounts of debt - is that really the way you want to ring in the new year? Now it’s not just about the gift list, don’t forget your spending plan includes all the extras like decorations, travel, and food. Set a limit for each category and STICK to it!
2. Make a list of everyone you plan to buy for and STICK to it!
Now PRIORITIZE…. Immediate family and your awesome financial planner will probably be at the top of your list. Make a list of potential gifts and costs. Work your way down the list when it comes time to buying. Without your list and spending plan in hand you are guaranteed to overspend on the “ohhhh that is so ….“ and remember to STICK to it!
3. Give the gift of charity
Have you ever asked your kids if they would be willing to give up a gift or two to allow for a less fortunate child to have a gift? Teaching our children to spend wisely, save consistently, and give early in life is such a valuable lesson.
4. Do you REALY need that?
I had some free time between appointments the other day and took the opportunity to run into Home Sense. WOW! The decorations were SOOO sparkly! Temptation is everywhere we go right now with an opportunity to “spruce up” our decorations. If you find yourself heading up to the checkout with a few extras in your cart, pull out your handy spending plan and STICK to it!
5. Time to play Secret Santa
Years ago my family decided to draw names for the “big gift” and then we each set a budget (oh my, did I really just use the “B” word) for smaller gifts. It’s a great way to save money, and it’s like we all pitched in and bought each of us one awesome present!
6. MOST IMPORTANTLY……
Leave you credit cards at home….
Yes! I’m talking to you.
OH, and when in doubt… SEE # 1