What to do for the holidays?
Let’s make a list.
Hopefully, we are coming out of the biggest recession since the Great Depression. If that makes you want to rush out and buy a big Christmas, DON’T.
While you may have made it through the storm of layoffs this year, we don’t really know what is ahead. If you have established a pattern of saving money regularly and automatically, don’t blow it at Christmas time. Santa would not be pleased.
SUGGESTED HOLIDAY SHOPPING FOR YOU
Get involved in making this Christmas special. Find out what the people on your list are actually “into.” Snoop around. Ask questions. Then, define how you can give them some joy without robbing your pocketbook.
If you have rewards points on credit cards, now is a great time to use them. Search for gifts that will be meaningful – not just gifts.
Check out magazine subscriptions that have a specific interest to the one you are gifting to! If they like hunting, there is a magazine for that. If they like money, there is a magazine for that. If they like literature, there is a magazine for that. And think about it: This is a gift that gives all year long.
Be careful when giving gift cards this year. Some expire and leave your friend or relative with nothing (while you paid for it).
There are more retail wars than ever this year. Especially Walmart and Target are fighting it out. Remember our philosophy: search for the real deals. Don’t just accept that you will save 25%. Make sure by comparing to other retailers. You don’t have to buy from one retailer.
Use coupons – but again compare savings vs. other stores and size or content units in what you are purchasing.
Get with family and friends early and talk about Christmas and the economy. It’s okay – believe me. They will appreciate that you care. Tell them you want to have a Christmas this year that is about care and specific to them, but you don’t want to go crazy. Set a spending limit and stick to it.
OH, AND SAVE
Can you save on Christmas gifts? Why, yes, you can. But remember what we always say: You don’t save unless you put what you SAVED in savings! (“I can’t save on Christmas gifts!”) Oh, yes, you can! And you should.
Consumers drive 70% of our economy. Don’t forget to use that power by negotiating and by using every tool in your toolbox. That means shopping on Amazon.com when the deal is right and shipping is free. It means checking out Walmart and Walmart.com or comparing price and negotiating everywhere you go.
You can make Christmas MORE special this year. If you do it right, it will cost less, too.
MAKE MORE THAN MONEY COUNT
In this country we don’t do enough to teach our children about money, managing money, saving regularly (and automatically), compound interest and steady investing for a long-term future. As a parent, we are always concerned that they get a good education and go to a good college so they can make a lot of money or have a valued career path. The truth is that we could do our children the biggest favor and one of the best things by sharing with them sound saving and investing principles.
You can join our free Facebook group (or have your children do it, too) by searching in the Facebook bar on your “wall” for “Live The Lifestyle Your Family Deserves.” Click on “become a fan.” It’s free and it ties our free blogs into that group.
If you want to give your children the same information we are giving ours, you can purchase the only thing we sell on any of our blogs or groups. It’s called “How To Survive Any Financial Crisis” and you can get it for only $4.95 at http://www.middleclassmoney.com.
Thank you for reading our blog and good luck!