Hey remember, there is life after Christmas – also bills and other obligations. So if you did not get a chance this year to set something aside to purchase Christmas gifts, it may not be a good idea to rob Peter to pay Claus!
As Christmas draws near, many of us will buy gifts for loved ones and even for people we don’t know. According to a Gallup poll, Americans believe they will spend an average of $812 for Christmas gifts alone. For most of us, that is equivalent to a mortgage payment.But before making your list and checking it twice, there are some things you should consider so that this Christmas will not cause a financial setback.
This may seem obvious, but planning ahead can reduce impulsive purchasing, which can also help you save money. Take a moment, create a list of all those you have a desire to purchase for. Then – look at it again…..does your neighbor really need a gift from you? Or can a holiday card suffice. Try not to get caught up to purchase for every single person you have encountered, but continue to compile your list to those that really truly matter.Make a commitment – starting this year, start putting a small amount away so that you would be financially prepared next year. Just setting aside a mere $40 per month will provide you with a Christmas fund close to $500 by this time next year.
Love is the best gift of all:)
I know, I know……a diamond would look so much better under the tree, but if you simply can’t afford it, don’t dig yourself into debt. Consider having a talk with loved ones about placing limits on gifts, trading names in larger families or doing things more meaningful – like creating a spa day at home for your loved one.Also, consider volunteering as a family at shelters and nonprofits to help those who are less fortunate than you. Not only will you feel better, but you will be doing a good service for those in need. Besides – as I look at my Wii console in my living room, it makes me realize that all these gifts are great for the moment, but as time passes it quickly becomes a thing of the past. Giving back is the greatest gift of all!
Remember, Your Choice, Your Future! Happy Holidays:))
Kemberley Washington is a certified public accountant and a business professor at Dillard University. Subscribe to her personal finance blog at Kemberley.com. Follow her on Twitter or connect with her on Facebook.