Recently, UF/IFAS published Five Steps to Seasonal Savings, http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/pdffiles/FY/FY140500.pdf, an EDIS brochure which reminds us of the stress that can result from holiday spending. I would encourage each of you to print or review the brochure and ponder its message TODAY. We are nearing the hustle and bustle of preparing for the season and it is timely information.
The five steps are:
- Recognize Your Seasonal Stressors
- Develop a Holiday Spending Plan – Make a Budget
- Develop a Holiday Spending Plan – Create a List
- Find Alternatives to Pricey Presents
- Fine-Tune Your Financials
It is already early December, the Thanksgiving shopping sale and Cyber Monday have passed but planning is still possible before the 2014 holiday rush if you will take some time to do so.
The section of this brochure that really spoke to me is the Fine-Tune Your Financials. As I do every day, I try to use cash and/or debit cards when possible. I need to see the money leave my account so the holidays don’t haunt me into the new year. There is too big of an allure for me to overspend when I buy gifts with credit. There is not as much reality with credit card spending. Paying interest on the credit debt is even more troubling, as the holiday spirit is long gone before the item is paid for.
Holidays are about spending time with family and friends. It does not need to center on gift giving. Consider your spending plan in the next few weeks for a more financially comfortable 2015.