Happy Holidays or January Remorse? – What’s on Your Mind? December 2016 Edition

The malls are decorated in colours to inspire the consumer to spend with subliminal music playing in the background to get you in the mood.  We are in full swing of holiday shopping.

Advertisers are promoting the popular toys and electronics getting people excited about having the latest and greatest gadgets of the season.  Parents are bent on not disappointing their children by rushing out trying to get their hands the items.

By the time January rolls around and the credit card statements come in, remorse starts to set in.  All the saving and budgeting done throughout the year blown.

Here are 7 tips to help you stay on course and enjoy the holidays.

  1.  Outline the plans for the holiday season. This may include parties you plan to attend and/or overnight trips you may be taking.
  1.  Set out a budget.  You may have been saving a little each pay throughout the year and already know what is available.  For those who have not, see how much you can take out of the savings without impacting the rest of your budget.
  1.  Make a list of people you will be buying for with a dollar value and/or gift idea beside each name.  Include any hostess gifts you may need.
  1.  Shop the sales.  If you plan in advance you can take advantage great discounts on most things.  Online shopping could help limit over spending by keeping you out of the mall.
  1.  Use credit card points to buy some of your gifts where possible.  People accumulate points and sometimes forget that they can use the points for merchandise.  This is a great way to stretch your budget.
  1.  Charge everything so you can keep track of your purchases and stick to your budget.  You will also accumulate more points towards next year’s gifts.  Don’t forget to pay your credit card before interest kicks in.
  1.  Be creative in your gifts by making some.  It is amazing how much people appreciate other people’s talents.  This could include baking, knitting, a special photograph or making a CD if you sing.  The list is endless.

The whole idea is to relax and enjoy the holidays.  This is not the time to get stressed or blow the family budget and feel bad the rest of the year trying to dig yourself out of the hole before you start over next year.

Happy Holidays.

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