Are you looking back on last year and thinking "Man, I spent way too much on gifts, travel, etc. during the holidays"?
Watch out! A recent survey shows shoppers are expected to spend 5% more this year than last year.
We all know the holidays can be an expensive time of year. If you are looking for a way to manage your spending during this time of celebration with friends, family, and colleagues, now is a good time to start thinking about how you can prove the shopping survey wrong. Once Black Friday comes and everyone is in shopping mode, it will be more difficult to put together a game plan.
I've got some tips that will allow you to enjoy the holiday season and avoid stressing about your bank account being in the red. In addition to budgeting tips, I have a tough question for you to consider and your answer will help you get past things that might be in your way. Watch the video or read along below.
So the air is finally getting cooler and Christmas decorations are popping up everywhere. Which means, it’s time for holiday spending – that joyous time of year when even the best laid budgets can fall victim to acts of spontaneous purchases or well-intended generosity. Let’s face it, December is just an expensive time of year.
But how do you find balance between the need to spend one family and friends – or even just the plane tickets to be with them – and the pain of over-spending which can lead to spender’s remorse, depleted savings accounts, or even credit card debt that drifts into the new year?
You’d expect me, a financial planner, to say this one right? The best first step is simply to write down a list of what you think you’ll spend. Here are several things you can include in your list:
Then total it all up. As the ol’ saying goes “Knowing is half the battle” so even if the total is big, at least you know it and are now empowered to make some changes to what you plan to spend, or find ways to free up some money.
Finally, if you’re reading or watching this and know that you often fall into the quicksand of holiday spending, perhaps it’s appropriate to ask a tough question:
Are you trying to compensate for relationship deficiencies in other areas?
I’ve seen over the years, people feel obligated to over spend because they’re a workaholic during the year. Or one lady who would basically buy whatever her kids asked for to make up for a challenging marriage. If your motivation for holiday spending falls in a category like these, budgeting or escrowing isn’t really going to help.
I would encourage you to think carefully about having a REAL conversation with your loved ones about your relationship – because I bet what you’ll find is the gift they’d value the most doesn’t cost money at all.
With that, I wish you a delightful holiday season and hope you’re able to keep the stress to a minimum and the laughter to a maximum.
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