Pre-Plan Your Holiday Financial Strategy

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Published: 17th August 2015
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Arranging your financial holiday spending ahead of time will prevent you from feeling your January credit card statement heavy emotions. Usually when your first of the year credit card arrives you are not looking forward to it because of all the holiday spending in December.

It feels good to report that this dread can be prevented by pre-planning your festive expenses.

Very much like personal finance strategizing, developing a holiday financial plan prior to shopping assists with staying in your budget. Planning to show those you love how important they are to you while refraining from deficit spending can be accomplished. The three suggestions below are to assist you with designing your own holiday financial plan.

Select the festive events you will attend: The holidays present many social events and sometimes the issue is what event do I attend? Determining beforehand your major events where you will spend money can assist you with correctly designating the amount of money for your festive plans. Also, it can enable to you make some of your funds available for the unplanned activities such as supper or drinks with co-workers and friends.

Focus on creating memories instead of material items: We are in a shopping environment and our senses are consistently flooded with radio, email and television ads. It is too much at times. Before you start shopping, let me suggest that you consider if a gift is the best option. I see that people mainly want to connect and feel their lives have meaning. This is an opportunity to see if you can connect or give an experience that others will remember and reap the benefits. Some examples are:

Volunteering at a holiday kitchen then eating a meal with your family
Having family bring a dish to our holiday meal so the host doesn't have to do all the cooking
Donate to a charity as an honorarium or in memory of someone you love

I donate to a charity in memory of my aunt who passed from Lupus, and my uncle gets the acknowledgement. He doesn't want a gift, but he appreciates receiving the letter informing him that this charity received a gift on behalf of his wife.

Mindful Gift Giving: You know the song "Santa Claus is coming to Town". In the song, Santa Claus is making a list and checking it twice. I suggest you also make a list and check it twice. Write down all the people you want to give this year. Review the list to see who would enjoy the gift of connection and meaning more than a tangible item. For those remaining on the gift list, determine the amount you want to spend on the gift. After creating a budget for your holiday shopping, search online for coupon codes to help you save while spending.

These three suggestions can be implemented quickly and save you hundreds if not thousands of dollars this holiday season. A bonus suggestion for 2014 to make your holiday experience better, write down all the people you purchased gifts for and how much you spent. In January review this list to decide whom you will keep on the list next year and divide the total amount spent into 12 and save that amount monthly, so you are ready to make your purchases with cash and not have to use your credit cards.

Remember to enjoy this holiday season. Everyone is busy these days so take time to have fun. Life goes by quickly, and it's meant to be savored. I wish you and all your loved ones a very enjoyable holiday season.

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