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Holiday Season Financial Tips

Max C. Bingman - Wednesday, June 01, 2016
Enjoying the holiday season does not necessarily mean spending a small fortune, racking up debt and spending the next two to three years trying to pay off the gifts.

Instead of making the season a financial mess, it is important to plan for the expenses and avoid the financial challenges. Working with an investment advisor to ensure the season doesn’t throw off the retirement plan is only part of making the season a budget friendly event.

Create a Budget

The holiday season is not the time to give up budget planning. According to Dave Ramsey, a budget is a necessary tool to staying on track financially throughout the next year.

Working with a financial advisor to create a plan that works with personal finances, family members and the plan for the holiday season will make it easier to stay on track financially.

A budget should organize spending throughout the season based on the greeting cards, travel, food, parties and other events that can throw off the finances. Setting aside a set amount for necessities, gifts and other items will help reduce the risk of going into debt.

Start Saving for the Season Early

Saving is always the best way to plan for the holiday season. An investment advisor can help create a plan throughout the year that puts aside extra cash for the holidays, which is then available when the winter season rolls around.

Although it is important to begin saving from the beginning of the year, setting aside extra money throughout the months of November and December will provide a little extra cushion. The financially smart way to handle the holiday season is paying for gifts without going into debt. A financial advisor can help create a savings plan for extra cash to make the holidays special.

Put the Credit Cards Away

Dave Ramsey suggests that it is never a good idea to pay for holiday gifts on credit. Instead of going to the store with a wallet or purse full of cards, remove all of the cards and replace it with cash. Paying with cash will not only keep the budget on track throughout the season, it will also make it easier to avoid adding extra debt to the account.

It is tempting to pay for gifts, food and decorations with a credit card, but putting off the expense will only make the season more costly. Spending the money that was saved for the holiday season will prevent large amounts of debt and ensure that the budget stays on track.

Write a Shopping List

Before heading to the store, write out a shopping list and a plan of action to avoid unexpected impulse spending. During the holiday season, it is tempting to buy little extras on the way out of a store. By following a shopping list and creating a plan before entering the mall, store or shopping center, the risk of impulse spending is reduced.

Warm Hearts with Simple Gifts

The holiday season is about giving, but it does not necessarily mean going into debt or creating a financial burden for the next year. Working with an investment advisor to create a savings plan should work in a little extra for simple gifts.

The simple gifts, such as a greeting card or a cup of hot chocolate, are a great way to warm up others during the holiday season. Giving a greeting card to a stranger and wishing him or her a happy holiday will remind others about the joy of the season.

The holiday season is not the time to break away from the financial plan. By working with an investment advisor to create a budget that will not impact financial goals, it is possible to make the season a happy and stress-free time.

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