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Smart Holiday Spending

The Holidays have snuck up again. It’s a time for us to enjoy being with our friends and family. We enjoy hunting down the best gift for each person, and it can bend our budget to the breaking point. If you have been working hard on your financial health, this could be the moment of truth. Here are a few ideas many holiday shoppers use to help keep their season (and their financial advisors) cheerful!

Make a List

Successful holiday shoppers create a list of all loved ones, neighbors and co-workers that gifts are sought for. They include gift ideas with each name and a budget amount for each gift. Some of these savvy shoppers make sure to research prices and details of expensive gifts. If the kids’ holiday lists are already on the fridge, they start the search and shopping as early as possible.

Check it Twice

Super spenders are flexible with gift ideas in case they just cannot afford certain items. They double check to make sure they purchased for everyone on their list before the last day to shop. Dashing out for a last minute gift can be expensive and bust a budget pretty quickly.

Don’t Depend on Black Friday

Thebalance.com reports that 74.2 million people shopped on Black Friday in 2015. Sometimes it looks like all 74 million of them are shopping in the same store at once! Websites such as DealNews.com track Black Friday items and found that several types of holiday gifts are not really a great deal over that chaotic shopping day. Smart Santas keep to their budget and don’t fall for a deal just because it’s a deal. They also know that many times items are not as deeply discounted as they seem or are not good quality for the price offered.

Be Ready for the Season

The Credit Union National Association (CUNA) reports that many credit unions still offer Christmas Clubs. A Christmas Club is a savings account opened and managed specifically for holiday spending. The money can usually be withdrawn on November 1st for holiday shopping.  When the holidays have passed, the account holder then starts saving for the next year in the same account.  Season savers can also adjust regular savings accounts or online accounts for holiday savings by adding a monthly amount to an annual nest egg.  

Hide the Credit Card

Super Santas avoid putting holiday purchases on credit. AARP reports that using a credit card over the holidays can open shoppers up to cyber theft, blow the budget and add on unneeded interest charges as well.

A final note: the holidays are about taking time to enjoy the season and spend time with loved ones. The hustle and bustle is part of the experience, so don’t let them become a chore. This is also a time to look to the next year and the joys it can bring. When you are ready, meet with a trusted financial advisor who will help you feel comfortable about making positive financial changes in the coming year.

Linden Oak Wealth Partners offers fee-only financial advising customized for women, in particular, women in transition. Our goal is to create an environment where financial planning is efficient, simplified and easy to understand. We want clients to feel empowered and engaged every step of the way. Please contact us to schedule an initial consultation today.

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