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.
A little more about us:
Compass Financial is an independent, fee-based financial advisory firm in West Des Moines, Iowa. The Compass Team helps individuals and families develop an inspiring vision of their financial future and a realistic strategy.
By listening closely to our clients’ true needs, wants, hopes, desires and dreams we are able to combine Wealth Management and broad Financial Planning customized to each individual situation. It’s our goal to assist you in developing a personalized financial road map. The results from the process should include confidence that comes from planning. As we all know, life happens, sometimes ambushing the best laid plans. Accepting a new reality and adapting the financial plan is work we have done many times for our clients.
We also offer Financial Check Up or Second Opinion Services to those who want to enhance the service they are already receiving. This should lead to a better understanding of your current plans and give added confidence to your existing advisor relationship.
Sometimes life’s biggest challenges come in the form of transitions, retirement, marriage, health issues, divorce, unexpected loss, or even college savings. Our team at Compass has experienced many of these life transitions, it’s our hope to come alongside you and your family. These defining moments of life provide opportunities to implement financial strategies that can have long lasting impact. The first step is always the most difficult, but can also be the most rewarding. Please Contact Us today to receive your free, no obligation, one hour initial consultation!