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Avoiding the post-holiday financial blues

The holidays season is about to start and with it will come several opportunities to make financial mistakes. Many people start the New Year off in a desperate financial situation that can be avoided with just a few common sense tips and a little planning before the holidays actually start.
What is our first step in holiday planning?
It starts with identifying all of your holiday expenses which include gifts, extra food expenses that come with the holidays, travel costs and perhaps even extra expenses regarding child care or pet sitting. It is important for gifts to include those beyond your family such as service professionals, teachers and co-workers.  Basically, building a budget for the holidays.
What if after building this budget we realize it’s too much to spend?
That isn’t all bad since the budget came before you started spending. You have time to trim expenses and get the budget back to a reasonable amount. It might require spending less per person or finding options to trim other expenses.
Are there options besides reducing your budget?
There are options, but this means you would need to reduce expenses in November and December from your everyday budget. This might mean reducing entertainment expenses or some other aspect of your regular budget that has room to be reduced for two months.
What is another important financial step to take for the holiday financial plan?
Track your holiday spending after you have established your holiday budget. Many people are really good at putting the budget together but then don’t track their spending and are surprised when they have exceeded their budget.
How else can you avoid going over your budget during the holidays?
One of the best is to have ideas for each gift recipient prior to shopping. This allows you time to research to see if you can stay within budget and also find the best place to buy the gift. This allows you to make stress free decisions on purchases.
What is a holiday trap we all can fall into that breaks the budget?
Buying gifts for ourselves because there is a great sale. Lately holidays come with a multitude of specials and sale opportunities or just spend $25 more to get free shipping. We will all be tempted and resisting the temptation is the best way to keep the holiday budget from being broken.
Any final thoughts for keeping the holidays from being a financial nightmare?
It is always important to be more thoughtful with your gift choice than it is to be more expensive. People remember the thoughtfulness of the gift a lot longer than the cost of the gift. Or to put it another way, don’t buy gifts to be impressive choose gifts that you can afford.

Posted: 11/3/2017 with 0 comments

Categories: Budgeting, Money Matters, Spending

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