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Keeping Spirits Bright – Your Holiday Financial Guide

Whether you braved the massive crowds for Black Friday shopping or scoured the web for Cyber Monday deals from the comfort of your phone or computer, there’s no denying holiday shopping is officially in full swing. While it may be tempting to stock up on all of the good deals you find, there are a few important considerations to keep your wallet healthy and your spirit happy. Follow these tips to avoid financial stress from crushing your holiday spirit.

Set a budget – and keep it! The biggest mistake consumers make is overspending their budget. This can lead to unnecessary stress as you are pinching pennies trying to recover. Set a gift limit and consider the value of the item before you purchase it. Will it sit unused within the next month? If so, skip it!

Don’t impulse buy. Yes, it may be tempting to buy an item advertised at 50% off, but if you weren’t planning to purchase it in the first place, are you really saving any money? Make a key list of gifts you’d like to buy and try not to deviate too far. This will also save you from buyer’s remorse!

Step away from the credit card. Don’t come out of the holiday season in a financial hole. Budget in months prior for your holiday shopping and try to pay cash for as much as possible. People tend to spend more money when they swipe their plastic than when they pay with cash so make your purchases with cash instead to help you stick to your budget.

Be wary of store credit cards. If you must use plastic, make sure you read the fine print before agreeing to sign up for no interest promotions many stores offer. What the friendly salesperson usually does not tell you is that the balance must be paid off in full before the promotional period ends otherwise you’ll get slammed from interest accumulated from the initial purchase date. Ouch!

Spend money on experiences rather than things. In numerous recent surveys, the majority of people said they would prefer to receive time and experiences rather than physical gifts. This is especially true for families with young children as it may feel like your house is filled to the brim with toys. Instead of giving the latest toy they’ll lose interest in within a matter of days or weeks, buy them a membership to a zoo or park and spend the day with them. They will remember the time spent with you far more fondly than the toy they played with briefly which in turns extends the value of your gift.

Be smart with your finances this holiday season and try not to start a new year with outstanding debt. Your financial health and happiness is worth more than a few dollars “saved” on a gift wrapped in a pretty box. Happy holidays everyone!

 

Jessica Follett
PKC Administrative Assistant

PKC Kuebler, APC is a full-service public accounting firm registered and licensed to practice as an accountancy corporation by the California Board of Accountancy . The information provided is intended for general tax and accounting needs. Articles are written for informational purposes only and should not be seen as any kind of advice. Content is accurate and true to the best of our knowledge, however, there may be omissions, errors or mistakes and it is advised you contact your CPA before taking any financial action. The opinions expressed in our articles do not reflect the opinions of any organizations in which we are affiliated with.

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