Rising Prices Putting the Pinch on You? Do Christmas Differently This Year

People who usually stick with a budget . . . and spendthrifts alike . . . often lose their grip on reality when the holidays arrive in December. Despite double-digit price hikes everywhere from the gift shop to the grocery store, some folks are likely to go into debt for a year or more just because it’s Christmas time. Is it  really worth the stress of paying all those extra bills long after the fun is done?

Be Merry without All the Fluff . . . Don’t Buy too Much Stuff                 

Here are just a few ways to cut down on Christmas spending and have a happier New Year:

. . . Make a list of everyone, including your favorite charities, that you want to give gifts.        

. . . Set a gift-giving budget you can afford right now

. . . and vow not to spend a penny more.                                                      

. . . Hide your credit cards. Put your holiday budget in cash into a secure envelope in a safe place.      

. . . Divide your total gift-giving budget by the number of people and organizations on your list.          

. . . Stick to the result, limiting the maximum amount you’ll spend on each person or organization.                                                     

If your budget is $200 and there are 10 people on your list, spend no more than $20 on each.

Whatever you spend per person, you don’t have to look cheap. Use a little creative thinking and give the most unique gifts you can get for your money. The most appreciated presents are often your love and your time, so consider other options like these:

* Think services. Offer babysitting services, snow shoveling, dinner at your house, painting or cleaning.  

* Give gift cards. Match cards with each person’s needs: Grocery, gas or books, nail care, haircuts, gyms.

* Make gifts. Use your own talents to make memory books, knit scarves, cookies, tree ornaments, etc.    

* Give kids down payments on more expensive toys, along with piggy banks to save $$$ yet needed.

If the children on your gift list expect more or ask for expensive toys, it’s a good time to teach them some economic lessons. Explain that money is tight due to conditions around the world, such as inflation, war, pandemic disruptions and other shortages. Emphasize that it’s the thought behind the gift that counts, not the price tag or the popularity of the item.

Despite holiday lights and Christmas carols popping up all over town, stick to your plan. Keep in mind that Christmas credit card debt can linger much longer than your gifts will last or recipients remember. By setting a budget that you can afford and dividing it equally among everyone on your list, no one is left out . . . and you don’t have to spend the rent or dip into your grocery money just to share your joy.

Manage Your Money . . . financial facts for a brighter future provided by

Advancd Asset Management LLC                          

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Ronald Van Surksum, CFP              

4555 Wilson Ave SW – Suite 2               Grandville, MI 49418                            

rvansurksum@aamllc.com                  

Phone: (616) 531-5220                            Cell: (616) 450-8439

For permission to reprint:                 ask@cameo100.com         12-01-22