There’s a lot of pressure every holiday season to spend, spend, spend! From gifts for friends, family and coworkers, to decorations, dinners and parties; the money just flies out of the wallet! While it’s definitely challenging to stick to financial goals and avoid going deeper into debt this time of year, there are ways to do it while still making great memories and enjoying all that the Christmas season brings.
- Save and shop early
Start socking away a bit of money starting in the fall, take on a few extra hours at work if you can, and plan ahead for holiday spending. We tend to spend more money when we are pressured for time, so take all the time you need to shop around for the best prices in the fall. Shopping early also helps avoid those awful crowds at the mall, and you can get guaranteed shipping dates for those online orders too. Don’t forget to save up all of your ‘shopping/loyalty points’ to spend during the holidays as that’s a super saver trick sure to help your budget out!
- Make a budget & stick to it
This part isn’t easy, especially when there are unexpected bills, guests and parties during the holidays. However, it is important to write out your financial goals, plan what you’ll spend on gifts/food/etc. and make the effort to stick to it. Your friends and family will understand if you tell them that you’re in serious savings mode this holiday and will be cutting back on spending. Remember, this season is all about connecting, caring and sharing, not about presents.
- DIY gifts
You don’t need to knit or sew to make amazing holiday gifts. There are so many homemade, thoughtful ways to show you care which will be truly treasured by everyone. Whether it’s sweets and treats, handmade bath products, decorations, framed photos, and so on, the fact that you took the time is all that matters. Hop online for ideas and inspiration…who knows, it may even be a lot of fun!
- Make memories
The best things in life are free, at least when it comes to making memories. Making a snowman (and a having good ol’ fashioned snowball fight), going tobogganing, having a holiday movie marathon, baking day, card games or a pot luck are all great ways to spend time with others over the holidays while having a blast. Gifts are temporary, but memories last forever.
- Know your limit
Sometimes the holidays get so overwhelming that the true meaning of the season is lost. If you’re feeling pressured to take part in various parties, fundraisers, secret Santa gift exchanges, cookie swaps, and so on, it’s OK to say no. It’s important to know your limits and avoid getting maxed out…physically, emotionally and financially.
The holidays are meant to raise your spirits, not your debt load. Keep it simple this year, limit spending and focus on the simpler things in life, like making lasting memories with friends and your loved ones. Your financial success is important, so be sure to reach out to me to talk about reaching those goals. Whether it’s debt reduction, buying your first home, or taking out a home-equity loan to fund the renovations you have been planning without hitting up that credit card, connect with me today. As a certified, experienced mortgage broker, I can help you come up with a financial plan that works for you. Your financial plan is a phone call away…(705) 315-0516; dial away and I look forward to working with you.