Just like snowflakes, no two of us are identical
Spend or save during the holidays?
Seasonal greetings to you! The season of warmth, joy and good cheer is here. We all celebrate the season in our own ways, related perhaps to family history, cultural traditions or religious observances. Gift giving is ingrained in this season and while it is pleasurable, for many of us, the joy we have in spoiling friends and families with presents leads to the arrival of unwelcome credit card charges in January.
Here are some holiday spending tips that show you care but won’t break your bank.
- Set a budget for gifts, entertainment and extras. Take this amount of money out of the bank and use cash only for your purchases. Using cash typically results in spending 20% to 30% less than using credit. Our brain experiences a bit of disgust using cash, whereas credit cards activate only the pleasure centres of the brain.
- Buy the least expensive items first. This will help you get those items out of the way and show you what is left in your budget for the bigger, more costly gifts or entertainment.
- Give DIY certificates for services you can provide: according to the needs of those you love, and your skills and availability, offer an evening of babysitting, a massage, help organizing a closet, an evening of snow shoveling, a business consultation etc. People remember what we do for them much more than the items we gift them.
- Agree on a spending limit when there is an exchange of gifts, and stick to that dollar amount.
- Consider giving gifts to children only; as adults, we often have most of what we need, or can purchase it ourselves.
How much should you spend on Christmas? Scott Hannah, head of the Credit Counselling Society, recommends 1% of your gross income in an interview with Global News (if you earn $50,000, that would be $500).
The average Canadian household spends nearly $800 on Christmas Day, and this amount seems to be increasing. Some Canadians start saving in January for the next year’s holidays, while others focus on paying down debt or saving for other financial goals. Where do you fit in the spectrum? The Cash Flow Plan I provide works by looking at your income and expenses with a different set of eyes. Clients are typically amazed by how the plan shows them quite a lot of money they hadn’t noticed without the plan. Even at the standard fee of $1850, the plan pays for itself in just a few months.
As a gift to you and your loved ones, I am offering a substantial discount on the cash flow plan to $1250 if there is commitment to the plan by the end of January 2018. This can be a gift to yourself or to someone you know who could be getting more life out of the money they already have. Contact me to schedule a free 15-minute telephone consultation. At the end of that call, I’ll be able to tell if I believe a Cash Flow Plan can work for you/your friend or family.
Wishing you happiness, success, health and prosperity throughout this holiday season and for the new year. I am grateful that you enjoy my newsletters and I look forward to being of service to you in the near future.