By James H. Dimmitt
Before you know
it our days will be filled with all the hustle and bustle of the holiday
season. And if you’re not careful, the spending and entertaining that goes with
celebrating these holidays could put a real strain on your budget. Amid the
music and decorations it becomes very easy to just “charge” away.
If you feared opening your January and February bills to see how much you really
spent last year, now is a great time to plan for a financially healthy and happy
holiday season this year.
Here are 7 tips to help you get started:
1) “He’s makin’ a list and checkin’ it twice”. Hey, if it’s good enough for
Santa, it’s good enough for me. Make a list of the entertaining and gifts you
plan to include this season. Don’t forget to include holiday decorations, gift
wrap, and food.
2) Make a budget! Set realistic limits on the amount you can afford to spend on
your list and then stick to it! Nothing will sidetrack you more quickly than
going on a holiday spending spree - especially one you really can’t afford.
3) Celebrate within your means. Think before you spend - do you really want to
be paying for your holidays 6 months after you’ve celebrated them? The holidays
are meant to be a time of joy, not a time to go deeper in debt.
4) Get creative with your gifts. Hand made items are more personal and often
more memorable than store bought items. Offer personal services such as
baby-sitting, gardening, cooking and such. Visit a craft store such as
Michael’s and you’ll find endless ideas for beautiful gifts you can create on a
5) Give a gift that gives the whole year long. Consider buying a gift
subscription to someone’s favorite magazine for them. Your generosity will be
remembered every month when their new issue arrives. Search the web for
discounts on magazine subscriptions and save even more!
6) Shop early and be sure to watch for pre-holiday sales. Use coupons found in
your weekly newspaper for additional savings.
7) Start saving now. Put aside a little money each week to pay for your
holidays rather than putting everything on plastic and risk having to go into
Here’s hoping these tips help put a little more joy in your holidays this year!
© James H. Dimmitt.
James is editor of
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