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Preparing for the Holidays

As you know the Christmas season is already upon us. For most of us this time of year means parties, family gatherings, food and many celebrations. Some people find this time of year especially challenging when it comes to money or the lack of money in their accounts. Preparing for this holiday season by making a budget and remembering a few extra details can make this holiday an enjoyable one to remember.

The first thing to do is budget for the holiday. Take into consideration how many people you want to buy for, the extra food needed, travel arrangements and any outings you may want to attend. This of course is after you have already taken in account your regular payments.

 

When considering who you’re buying for make a list of who and how much and stroke them off as you go.

  • Shop smartly, if an item is on sale don’t feel like you have to spend the allotted dollar amount and add by more gifts.
  • Look for coupons or discounts
  • Check in your wallet for unused gift cards
  • For the kids:
    • one item of something they want
    • one item of something they need
    • an item to read
    • something to wear.
  • Before making a purchase, ask yourself if it fits within the plan.

Remember you don’t have to buy for everyone in your life, if you have a big family suggest a secret Santa gift exchange or no presents at all.  You would be surprised at how many family members would be glad you suggested that.

If preparing a holiday meal make sure you plan your grocery trip. By making a meal plan and a list of groceries it will prevent having to go out at inconvenient time but also prevent an expensive trip to the local corner store when everything else is closed. It also gives you a chance to plan what you are going to bring to your local potluck or work Christmas party.

When planning the travel arrangements be sure to make sure your car is ready for the winter travels. To ensure safe travels, keep a few of these extra items in the car:

  • Emergency kit
  • Windshield fluid
  • Snow brush
  • Extra clothes

Also be prepared when traveling long distances by packing snacks and water. The holiday season is more about spending time together with loved ones then spending money.

Wishing you and your family a Happy and Safe Holiday Season!