Let’s talk about saving for the next Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, or any other holiday or special occasion. With nearly a year to save up for gifts, now is the best time to think about one of the biggest spending periods of the year.
First, how did your most recent holiday go? This is a conversation you could actually have with a financial counselor. This conversation will help inform us how to tackle next year’s holiday spending in a way that doesn’t jeopardize year-long financial security. You can discuss what worked, what was underestimated, and your priorities for next year. For example, many NYLAG clients end up purchasing gifts a month before the holidays, which causes a lot of strain and stress. A financial counselor can help you plan out further in advance without losing sight of your current obligations.
Now you should really discuss your individual situation with a counselor, but one way we can help you is by helping you with organization. A simple spreadsheet (or just a paper list) listing out those who will get a gift, what kind of gift, and the amount to be spent can provide a lot of clarity. You can brainstorm good gift options and determine a spending cap for each person. You can even prioritize the list if needed.
Equally important is the ability to check in every so often. Set up a few dates with your counselor in the future to check in with each other. If savings aren’t where they should be you both can brainstorm how to fix that and how that will affect your holiday list.
Lastly, your counselor and you can brainstorm different gift options and the pros/cons of going into debt to purchase a gift. For example, if you decided to purchase a gift of substantial value (e.g. a TV, Jacket etc.) there may be certain times of years, or other deals/options, where you can get a gift at a lower value.
We know the holidays just passed, but this is really the best time to plan for next year and set a plan that will work for your pocket and bring joy to those you love.
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