Skip to content

Don’t Procrastinate: Zero In on Holiday Budgets Before You Spend

December 5, 2014

Don’t look now because before you know it the season of giving — and spending — will be upon us. Don’t wait until the credit card bills arrive in January to think about how you’re going to pay for your holiday spending. Start now and consider these planning tips.

Have a realistic budget and stick to it. Creating a budget and keeping to it can help you to avoid spending beyond your means. To avoid the overspending trap, make a list of possible gifts and spending limits a month or two in advance. But make sure you cover all your bases. In addition to gifts, include the cost of postage and shipping, travel and entertaining, even wrapping paper and decorations.

Be a smart shopper. Watch the newspapers and advertising flyers for sales or discount coupons for items you plan to buy. Be flexible and realize that you may need to juggle your schedule to take advantage of the best sales. When possible, put off gift buying until after the holidays. This is when department stores reduce sale prices even more to make room for spring merchandise.

Try not to “charge it.” It can take the average shopper months — or even years — to pay off holiday spending debt. If you must use a credit card, use only one — preferably a bank credit card. Avoid department store cards, which usually charge a much higher interest rate.

Give of yourself. Your time and talents are often viewed as more meaningful than any gift you could buy. Give an elderly friend or relative a certificate for a home-cooked meal or an afternoon of gardening. Teens can offer to baby-sit, read to the elderly, or wash windows. Homemade items such as jams and jellies or handicrafts also make great, inexpensive gifts.

This year, why not give yourself a gift by planning ahead for the holidays? With a little forethought and creativity you can keep your holiday spirit without losing your wallet.

Because of the possibility of human or mechanical error by S&P Capital IQ Financial Communications or its sources, neither S&P Capital IQ Financial Communications nor its sources guarantees the accuracy, adequacy, completeness or availability of any information and is not responsible for any errors or omissions or for the results obtained from the use of such information. In no event shall S&P Capital IQ Financial Communications be liable for any indirect, special or consequential damages in connection with subscriber’s or others’ use of the content.

© 2013 S&P Capital IQ Financial Communications. All rights reserved.

Alan Sweeten, CFP ® alan@sweetenwm.com/ Cell (760) 460-6509 / Phone (800) 841-2796 / webwww.sweetenwm.com North County Financial Planner

From → Recent Posts

Leave a Comment

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: