Have you made a list and checked it twice? Chances are, you haven’t…
The National Retail Federation estimates that consumers’ will spend upwards of $730 billion this holiday season. Perhaps this is due to a well performing stock market, low unemployment and wage increases. Each of which has helped put extra cash in consumer pockets.
Though, this time of year there is one question that every consumer must answer for themselves – Are you going to allow Santa to slide down the chimney and raid your bank account?
Amid the many distractions that occupy your attention throughout the holiday season, lays a decision that you must make. Will you try to keep up with your friends? How about your kids friends parents? Or, will you say no to Santa and spend modestly?
Whatever you decide for yourself and your family is the choice you must live with. It might be too late for some of you to light a fire to keep Santa from sliding into your bank account, but for those of you who are not quite done shopping or still haven’t hit the malls; slow down and take a minute to think through the true meaning of Christmas, what you want to spend, and what your financial situation allows you to spend.
Here’s a short list of things to think about and focus on financially throughout the Christmas season:
- Ask yourself what Christmas means to you. Don’t adopt your neighbors view.
- Check your bank account balances
- Make a list to keep you from window shopping
- Compare prices (Add the Honey extension for online shopping)
- Create a budget for each person/group you buy for
- Save your receipts to compare to your budget
- Check your list twice
- Ask yourself if debt is worth it
- Wait for after Christmas sales (Usually the best day is the 26th of December)
- Track spending compared to the budget
- Remember you have to pay the credit card bill next month
- Give group gifts to family members