It's that time of year again. The weather is cooling off, stores are offering incredible deals, and all food and drinks are being sold with a "pumpkin spice" option. As I mentioned in my latest installment of Free Time Tuesdays, Christmas is only seven weeks away! Will I be able to afford gifts for everyone this year? How can I save money or at least avoid incurring debt this holiday season? How will I handle my crazy in-laws when they start ranting about politics? Unfortunately my friends, I can't tell you how to handle your in-laws. That being said, I offer advice help you keep your finances on track during the holidays.
Fun Fact: Black Friday was named as such because it typically falls around the time of year that most companies start to turn a profit. This is also known as going "from the red to the black." Black Friday is a boon for most companies, which means that it is not always beneficial for consumers. Shoppers can easily spend more money than they intend to simply because there are deals that are too good to pass up. Retailers go to great lengths to advertise and otherwise hype their sales in order to get you to spend as much money as possible. They count on you to spend more money than you intend to in order to turn a profit! For an interesting study that looks at the science of Black Friday, please see this interesting article from Science of People. Before you buy, ask yourself: do I really need this? Did I walk into this store intending to buy this? November is the biggest month for buying and January is the biggest for returning. Buy less in November and return less in January.
A Little Help
Everyone needs a helping hand now and then. Why not sit down with a financial coach for some financial planning? I can help you develop a holiday budget that will keep you out of debt and ensure wise purchases at the same time. Together we will figure out how much money you have to spend. From there, we will allocate specific amounts of available money to your various priorities (i.e. your kids, charity, church, yourself, etc.) and you will know exactly how much you have to spend before you begin your shopping. Don't go into debt because of poor planning!
I'll Leave You With This
This truly is the best time of the year. We all gather with friends and family to give thanks and remember who and what we really value in life. The holidays can be a stressful time of year, but we are here to help you make them as easy as possible. If you would like to speak with a financial professional about your holiday budget, I would love to schedule a free consultation with you today. Phone calls can be scheduled by clicking here or by sending an email here.