Dollars & Sense: How To Save Money During The Holidays
“Oh, for the good old days when people would stop Holiday shopping when they ran out of money.” ~ Author Unknown
The holiday’s are one of the most stressful times of the year whether you are making the holiday dinner, or your worried about blowing your holiday budget. Last month we introduced you to a new column Dollars & Sense with Cynthia Hamlin, MBA . This month Cynthia’s shares her financial tips for the holidays.
If anything can empty a pocketbook, it’s Holiday shopping. The long list of friends and family to shop for. The stress, sale shopping, gift wrapping and list making. It can take a toll physically, mentally, and financially. How do I know? By the spike in women who come to see me in January in order to get their finances straightened out. So, here are a few tips that may help to make your holidays memorable.
1) Make a budget and stick to it.Be realistic about what you can afford to spend. We’re talking cash, not credit cards. If your plan for paying for your holiday shopping hinges on a hefty tax refund, then you’re in trouble. Don’t be afraid to scale back on the gifts if necessary. Those who love will understand.
2) Make a list. Studies show that shopping with a list results in fewer impulse buys and helps to stay within budget. Use an app or do it the old fashioned way (that would be a pen and paper) to jot down your gift ideas. Take your list with you every time you shop so that you’re less likely to forget anything and can keep track of what you have left to buy.
3) Shop out of love, not obligation.It happens all the time. You get a card or a gift from someone but you didn’t get a gift for her/him. Awkward! If you must return the sentiment, give a certificate to get together for coffee…your treat. Maybe you’ll deepen a relationship that will result in both of you exchanging gifts because you want to and not because you have to.
4) Give the gift of time.This is especially true of the children in your life. They REALLY don’t need any more “stuff”. What they want is time with you. Arrange some uninterrupted time (no iPod, no texting) with your son, daughter, niece, nephew, or friend . It’ll give both of you memories to last a lifetime.
Happy holidays everyone!
Cynthia Hamlin, MBA Investors Group Financial Services, Inc.
Cynthia brings best in class financial planning services to women and women-owned businesses. On a mission to enable women to make sound decisions about building wealth and protecting their families, Cynthia’s goal is to ensure that her clients get the best personalized advice to address their individual financial concerns.