The holidays are once again upon up. Time for celebrating with friends and family. Time for parties and holiday gift-giving. Everyone wants to give that perfect gift to their loved ones or be the perfect host or hostess for that holiday party, however, holidays are one of the stressful times of the year if you are not financially prepared. On the outside you appear to be festive and joyful, while on the inside you are stressing about the increasing credit card balances. The holidays don’t have to be a source for undue stress and financial concerns if you follow some very basic rules for spending that will lead to holiday happiness.
KNOW YOUR HOLIDAY SPENDING LIMITS
Before you start your holiday spending, take an honest appraisal of your financial fitness. Set a reasonable limit you can afford to spend on the holidays. This includes gifts, food, travel expenses and gift-giving. Remember you still need to pay your regular, monthly bills and living expenses first. Then determine a holiday spending budget with what is left over, without having to resort to using credit cards or dipping into your savings account. Now for the hard part. Once you determine a workable budget…STICK to it!! No matter what do not deviate from your budget, not even for the perfect gift.
MUST EVERYONE GET A GIFT?
Reserve gift-giving for immediate family and very close friends. You are not expected to give a gift to every single person you have ever met. Agree to spend quality time together with friends and family. It is probably more meaningful to them and cost a lot less. Remember a gift from the heart, like cookies baked with love will mean a lot more than that cheap perfume or cologne that they may never use.
IT IS NOT A CONTEST
It may seem like your cousin and her husband always go “all-out” buying gifts for everyone. However, their budget may be different. They may have higher incomes, less debt and fewer children. While you may be putting a child or two through collage and paying off your own student loans. Give gifts that you can afford, your friends and family will appreciate it and understand.
TRY TO CUT DOWN ON YOUR REGULAR EXPENSES AS YOU APPROACH THE HOLIDAY SEASON
Packing a lunch or eating at home can definitely save you money. By doing so it will allow you to divert some of that money to your holiday budget. Once you get accustomed to spending less, you can continue the habit and direct that “saved” money to your savings account or to pay down your bills.
While the above tips will help you financially survive the holidays, they will not be able to solve all your financial woes. Yes – they will help make the holidays less stressful and the memories will be merrier knowing massive credit card bills are already in the mail.
IF YOUR FINANCIAL CONCERNS ARE TO OVER-BEARING AND YOU ARE DROWNING IN DEBT – PIKUNIS LAW CAN HELP
If your New Year resolution is to become debt-free in 2019 and you don’t think you can do it alone, Bankruptcy may be the help you are looking for. For a consultation, now or in the new year, call Pikunis Law at (856) 282-5505
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