Holiday Time and Retail Therapy

It is that time again when you cannot get away from the commercial hype of the season. Everywhere you go, everything you listen to and all that you see is drumming into your head that it is time to spend, spend, and spend.

When I work with people and get them to do some budgeting with their expenses, I often tell them to track their expenses in December and January. Why, because they are often your most expensive and least expensive months respectively. After all, who wants to be a Scrooge and how few of us have money left over for luxuries in January?

This blog really should be written in January rather than now. You see, if people were to set aside a little bit every week from the first week of the year, come the beginning of December they would either have finished their shopping or would have a bursting piggy bank to deck the halls with.

So for the majority of procrastinators, here are a few tips that might help you weather this season.

1. Take five minutes either by yourself or with your significant other and list all of those people you have to buy a gift for.
2. Now take a look at the people on that list and determine how many of them you can make a donation to a charity on their behalf. Most people have a ‘pet charity’ and a few dollars to that will be worth far more than a box of chocolates, for example.
3. Also consider having an event instead of individual gifts. For example, rent the ice at an arena for some time between Christmas and New Years and have the whole family out and provide hot cocoa and add Bailey’s for the adults in the group.
4. Once you have whittled the list down through creative gifts like the donation or the group outing, your list should be a lot smaller and then apportion your money accordingly and then stick to the budget per person.

Once this year is done, add up the total that you spent and divide it into 50 and that is what you should be putting aside every week so that you do not have a holiday hangover come January.

If you want some creative gift ideas, just drop me a line.

Cheers and Enjoy the Season