How much do you plan to spend this holiday season? According to a National Retail Federation (NRF) survey, consumers plan to spend an average of $967.13 this holiday season. And since that’s the average, many Americans will be spending well above that amount! When it comes to your own holiday spending, consider asking yourself these questions:
-Do I have a plan (i.e. specific budget)?
-Do I have a strategy in place to stick to that plan?
-Is my holiday spending budget reasonable given my specific situation?
Too often we see major expenditures, including holiday spending, take folks off track when it comes to meeting their financial goals. Financial planning can help keep you on track! Send us a message (firstname.lastname@example.org) or give us a call (512-649-2383) to learn more.
In the meantime, here are two ideas to help manage your holiday spending:
-Save in advance. Although this won’t help you out for this year’s holiday season, next year you can be well prepared by saving systematically throughout the year. Consider setting up a separate savings account dedicated to holiday spending, and put money into the account each month. For example, if your holiday spending budget is $600, plan to put $50 per month into your new “holiday account”, and by December you will be ready to tackle holiday spending!
-Gift experiences rather than things. We all want our holiday budget to be money well spent. To get the most bang for your buck, consider gifting experiences to the folks on your shopping list. Research suggests that experiences, rather than things, provide us with more happiness and satisfaction (for a variety of reasons, such as experiences enhance relationships, experiences form a bigger part of our identities, and experiences evoke fewer social comparisons).* So instead of a new toy or gadget that may end up on a closet shelf somewhere, consider gifting a loved one with tickets to a local theatre production or classes/lessons to try a new hobby.
Happy Holidays everyone!
*Source: Cornell University study by Prof. Thomas Gilovich, 2012
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