7 Holiday Spending & Saving Tips for The Most Wonderful Time Of The Year

Published December 6th, 2022

Reading Time: 4 minutes

| Holiday Spending |

Written by:

Daren Blonski, CFP®, CDAA®, AIF®
Zoe Network Advisor

7 Holiday Spending & Saving Tips for The Most Wonderful Time Of The Year

Published December 6th, 2022

Reading Time: 4 minutes

| Holiday Spending |

Written by:

Daren Blonski, CFP®, CDAA®, AIF®
Zoe Certified Advisor

Snow and joy are the season’s scents, and overall, it’s a festive time to gather with our family and friends. Undoubtedly, we are all seeking ways to avoid any stress and anxiety, but it commonly comes with the financial implications of the holidays. 

The holiday season is full of the hustle and bustle. As streets and houses are getting decorated, you feel warm and excited. Snow and joy are the season’s scents, and overall, it’s a festive time to gather with our family and friends. Undoubtedly, we are all seeking ways to avoid any stress and anxiety, but it commonly comes with the financial implications of the holidays. 

Preparation is key. Growing up, one of my athletic coaches always said, ‘if you fail to plan, you plan to fail. Here are seven ways to ease the challenge caused by a spending hangover, to keep the holidays relaxing and enjoyable. 

1. Santa Has a Calculator – Keep a Number in Mind

Before you do anything else, check in with yourself to come up with an overall spending amount that sounds reasonable for your circumstances this year. 

  • How much have you set aside for holiday spending? 
  • How much are you going to charge on your credit cards? 

If your circumstances have changed from last year, and you need to cut back, acknowledge that. The best way to create holiday savings is to spend your money wisely. The best way to not overspend is to be very intentional. 

2. Predetermine the Gift Giving Process

One way to save during the holidays is to set up a family gifting process. Having a predetermined gift-giving process not only helps you manage your budget but also helps you make sure everyone is included. Do you have four children? Establishing the gifting process will help them shop for their Christmas Eve and Christmas day presents. Already have grandchildren? Organize how you will make sure no grandchild is left out.

It is also helpful to set up the dynamic among the adults. If you need to buy gifts for every child and adult in the family, then the budgets change, and so do the expectations. 

3. Become an Elf Yourself – Create a Gift List 

There is a reason Santa ‘makes a list and checks it twice.’ Who are the people that you would like to purchase gifts for? This list will be your guideline to avoid impulse buying once you enter the store or website. This is what we call ‘gift creep’ – thinking we need one more gift. Also, to build a budget, you need a list.

4. Allocate Your Budget

You have an overall number in mind and a list of people you buy gifts for, so now you can estimate how much you want to spend on each gift. Having a budget amount for your shopping helps you stay within your guidelines. Then, when you set out to purchase those items on your list, you won’t be swayed by the holiday marketers who manage to convince you to buy a little extra. Having a budget and sticking to it makes you more likely to overcome excess spending.

5. The Toy Shop Opens Before The Snow Starts to Fall

It’s easy to get caught up in the emotion of holiday spending. It’s an exciting time, and the last-minute frenzy is incredibly enticing. Unfortunately, the retail outlets have figured out how to get you to spend, so beat them at their game by starting early with your plan in hand. Start before the behavioral psychologists have implemented their subtle arts. By starting early, you will have ease and patience through the holiday. Nothing is worse than running around at the last minute in a scramble to get all the gifts bought. 

6. Less is More for the Holidays

We used to run around to many events and gatherings with our little kids and, over the years, realized that everyone was happier with doing less. This is true with gifts too. I have become a big fan of giving gifts that are thoughtful and specific. One thoughtful gift is much more meaningful than a basketful of stuff.

7. Think About Gifts that Matter

Children on your list may benefit most from an education savings plan. While this does not have to replace a toy or new phone, I suggest that clients set up 529 college savings account for the kids in their family. Teaching the family to save early and start early creates a legacy of family financial planning and preparing for the future. The gift of education is priceless. An investment management professional can help you with setting one up.

Your Financial Planning Qualified You for the Nice List

Are you checking your lists? You’re doing everything right with these steps if you check them twice! By planning ahead, you increase your odds of having financial peace of mind during the season where family is all that matters.

The holidays can be an enjoyable time for all. Following a simple set of guidelines can help enhance this coming season of joy and help prepare you for the new year ahead without the challenges caused by overspending.

Disclosure: This blog is not investment advice and should not be relied on for such advice or as a substitute for consultation with professional accounting, tax, legal or financial advisors. The observations of industry trends should not be read as recommendations for stocks or sectors.

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