Monday, December 19, 2011
Happy Money Monday!
Don't want to start 2012 in debt? Austin the Realtor is back for Money Mondays with tips on how you can shop smart and still enjoy the holidays without putting yourself in the poor house.
Hope you all had a great weekend! The last official shopping weekend before Christmas. This is a great time to find ways to bring smiles to those you love with that special gift. If money was no object, what would you get? A new car, a new house, a trip to the Caribbean? Unfortunately, for many of us, money IS an object, so we get what we can - and sometimes what we can’t.
Many shop by pushing the limits with thoughts of dealing with the ramifications in the New Year. It is the season of giving, but it will not feel so good when you start receiving the bills associated with all your giving. It’s hard to decide who gets what on a limited budget, but it's more painful trying to dig yourself out of the debt created by trying to please everyone.
Many are going different routes this holiday season to try to soften the financial blow.
- Just buying for the kids this year
- A Secret Santa amongst family members
- Create games where the prizes are wrapped gifts
- Set a spending limit per gift per person
- Offer to perform a service as opposed to a tangible gift (wash the car or mow the lawn for a month coupons)
Many have traditions which they are not willing to part from, but in these economic times, you have to consider what is reasonable while trying to stick to your annual rituals. Consumer spending is up 15% so far from last year. This is interesting given all the reports on unemployment and home foreclosures.
I am a huge advocate of gift giving, but I’m a bigger advocate of ensuring we are not financially stressed after the holidays. You have to find your personal fine line where you can spread the holiday cheer and still maintain your financial sanity.
How do you balance the two during the holiday seasons?