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{GUEST POST} Have Yourself a Debt-Free Holiday!

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Friday, November 11, 2011

{GUEST POST} Have Yourself a Debt-Free Holiday!

List in hand and holiday cheer filling your adorable, overflowing heart, you head off to your favorite boutiques for some shopping. 
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With the best of intentions, you get a bit distracted by all the cute things that you know no one will buy for YOU. Maybe you could add just a few items for you to your purchases... 
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And then there is the immediate discount that can be had if you just open a charge card at this cute shop. Wouldn’t that help? After all, there really isn’t any money in the dreaded BUDGET for all the gifts you want to get…
STOP this craziness! 
The holidays are definitely not about is who can buy the biggest present or who shows the most extravagance. You will never be able to demonstrate how much you care about someone by how much money you spend. And if it’s real love, all anyone wants is your presence, not your presents.
So my best advice for your money, and for your general happiness, is for you to have a joyous holiday season with many happy and wonderful memories and to have January 1st not stink when you open your credit card bills.   
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How can you shop and not have regret? Don’t add debt, and then you’ll have no regret! 
Here are some tips:
#1. Prioritize your spending. There are cute dresses to buy for parties, gifts for friends and family, and money to set aside for evenings out. Friends around you may be spending like crazy, but you don’t know the scary, underbelly of their bills. Break it down into manageable bits!


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Outfits: Is there anything in your closet that, combined with the purchase of an adorable scarf or sweater, can be refreshed so money can be spent elsewhere this season? That adorable pencil skirt or those wool pants that make your butt look so cute, could certainly work for Christmas, yes?
Gifts: Start the necessary conversation to select only one person in your clan to share a gift exchange at the family party, instead of everyone having to buy for all. 


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#2. Make something. Can homemade or more simple, less expensive gifts — sometimes more thoughtful — be given instead of the more expensive alternatives? 
#3. Rethink the pressure. What difference does it make what ‘everybody’ else is doing? Take control of your life and simplify your world, baby girl.
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Evenings out: Have some really fun and stylish holiday dinners at home and ask everyone to bring a dish.  One can bring the margarita mix, another that fabulous, chocolatey confection, and another can bring the fondue pot, and another friend all the fixings! You’re not the only one of your friends balancing the many demands of their money at this time of year. Lead the way with your clever and oh, so classy dinner party by candlelight in your beautiful home and on the cheap. Be proud to be frugal! 
Have a strategy for next year: Make 2012 even more awesome because you planned. Begin a Christmas club at your local financial institution in which you deposit a certain amount of money each week for next year’s gift-giving. You can even save enough for a few new outfits, dinners out and gifts. (Figure out the amount you generally spend on everything holiday related. Divide that amount by the number of weeks you’ll be saving. That is the amount of money per week you need to set aside for maximum coziness.)
Take your holiday shopping season firmly in hand and focus on what’s really important.  You’ve got what it takes to squeeze the most out of a dollar and the style to make this season stunning and debt-free!

Marion  Syversen, MBA, owns Norumbega Financial. She appears every Tuesday on WABI-TV5, Bangor, Maine’s CBS affiliate. She is the author of Real Deal: Making Big Changes with Small Change available on Amazon.comRead her weekly blog atFinanceWithChocolateSauce.com. Send questions or feedback toMarion@norumbegafinancial.com or visit her website at www.NorumbegaFinancial.com. 










Only securities and advisory services offered through Wall Street Financial Group, Inc. Registered Investment Advisor. Member FINRA/SIPC. Wall Street Financial Group, Inc., Norumbega Financial and all other entities listed herein are separate entities, independently owned and operated. Information herein is the opinion of the author and not that of Wall Street Financial Group, Inc. 

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2 Comments:

At November 11, 2011 at 9:56 AM , Blogger Healthier And Wealthier said...

Amen! I totally agree. Supporting the economy is fine IF your own house is in order. Good suggestions! Sandra

 
At November 11, 2011 at 10:01 AM , Blogger Laura said...

This is totally how I am "spending" my holiday season!!! Great post! Love u Marion!

 

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