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Let's Talk Gifting

Now, I love Christmas a lot, and I mean a lot! I love transforming our home into a cozy and twinkling oasis, baking my traditional treats and preparing tins of goodies, and of course gifting.

But I've got to say, when I hear an advertisement that is telling you it's a good idea to buy your Mom a laptop for Christmas, that is frankly worrisome. I've seen ads that promote it is a good idea to buy your spouse a car even, honestly!

To me, gifting is really about finding that something special for someone that not only is thoughtful, but doesn't compromise your financial position either. I can guarantee you that the person receiving the gift would be sad to learn that you put yourself in a tough financial position because you overspent on gifts. That's really not what the holidays are all about.

Here are some pro tips that I'd like you to consider before making your gift purchases this year:

  1. Do you have a savings account with some slush money in it? You need to have some 'just in case' money on tap at all times.

  2. Have you prioritized yourself and set some money aside for other financial goals?

  3. Do you have any credit card debt that you're perpetuating by buying gifts beyond your means? If so, consider simply not increasing your credit card balances throughout the holidays.

  4. Start buying gifts in the last quarter of the year, not just the week leading up to Christmas. This will spread out the purchases to help smooth out cash flow and limit debt accumulation.

As a planner, all I ask is that you're reasonable with your gifts by spending within your means. I'm not a monster and expect you to make sweeping gestures towards your retirement savings and debt payments throughout the holidays, all I ask is that you come out in the New Year no different then when you went into the holidays. Challenge accepted!


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