As prepared as we might think we are, December has this peculiar way of sneaking up on us. Christmas then rushes in with excessive joys and unmeasured spending, and New Years leaves us contemplating new challenges. So, how about we slow down, make a list and check it twice, we want to help you prepare a reasonable holiday spending budget and a better plan for gift giving.
Here are some easy steps and tips that will allow you to measure your holiday expenses and feel smart about your gift choices.
- Review your income and deduct your fixed expenses, such as rent, utilities, insurance, savings and all recurrent personal expenses. What you are left with is an approximate spending budget.
- Make a list of loved ones and set a maximum and a minimum price to each gift.
- Include yourself in the list, as you also, deserve a gift, in addition to those Christmas parties expenses.
- Once you’ve decided on how many people belong on your list. Divide your available income by the number of people. Weigh the needed adjustments in price per person, look up online prices to help you adjust and define that amount.
- Track price changes for expensive items and don’t be afraid to buy the same gift twice if it will please more than one person. Plus, some stores may offer a second item at half price!
- Schedule and group your shopping days to save on gas and just leave the credit card at home! Maybe also, avoid shopping on the weekend!
- Enhance that personality of yours by practicing self control and mastering those impulses.
Holiday Gift Ideas
Gifting is a selfless and thoughtful act. So, rather than indulging in splurge purchases and overspending money on random material objects, be creative and aim for gifts that will benefit your loved ones. We have some valuable tips for clever holiday gift ideas.
- Give the gift of a funded future.
Obviously, we all love to spoil our little ones for Christmas. This year, ask your family to limit the number of gifts offered to your children to one or two. Between grandparents, uncles, aunts and friends, that is still a fair amount of gifts per child. Instead, ask them to contribute to a Registered Education Savings Plan (RESP) for a funded future. What better gift for a young member of the family than investing in their education. Learn more here
- Suggest a gift exchange or a secret Santa alternative.
Between your closest and extended family, friends and coworkers, you can easily blow your budget and lose track of your original plans if your list is too long. You can still be generous and offer gifts, yet with a limited number of people to treat.
- Consider offering experiences.
Rather than material trinkets that end up gathering dust, explore different activities, like balnear stations, art lessons or culinary experiences, thus attaching unforgettable memories to your gifts.
- Enhance simple gifts.
Consider putting iin more thought in the wrapping, do it yourself with original decoration or add a personalized touch to your gift, by engraving or monogramming a personal item.
- Unburden your family.
Examine possibilities of lowering your family’s combined income tax burden by purchasing RRSP’s or make an extra payment on your mortgage.
Want more tips?? Sure!
Shop online, find coupons, find promotions through apps and websites, track your spending, keep your bills, ask for gift receipts, consult with your financial wealth manager … All valid tips that will shed some light for a stress-free holiday season. Avoid long lineups and last-minute shopping, plan ahead, shop smart and spend the rest of the time enjoying the holidays with your friends and loved ones.
Don’t hesitate to book a call and we can help discuss getting your finances in order with a dedicated wealth management team here at OBS Financial.
Have other ideas? Share your thoughts!
Have a wonderful holiday!