4 Tips For A Financially Sound Holidays In 2016

4 Tips For A Financially Sound Holidays In 2016

It's no surprise the holidays can be stressful for families, and often for many different reasons. One of those is the stress the holiday season and gift giving can put on a family's finances. While it's easy to get swept up in the holiday shopping excitement, it may not always be easy to see the bill later. 

This year, keep these four tips in mind when prepping for gift giving season, whether you are giving to friends or family:

1. ASSESS YOUR FINANCIAL SITUATION

Before you start buying gifts, do you know what kind of financial commitment you can already make? It's easy to go a bit over-board and purchase something outside of the budget to make someone happy. But knowing what your limits are can help you make decisions. 

Not sure what your current financial situation? The National Foundation for Credit Counseling has a helpful website tool which can help you understand your financial situation before you go shopping this year.

2. DON'T BE AFRAID TO TALK

We don't just mean talking about the snow, or which reindeer could run fastest. We mean having honest conversations with your family and children about wants and needs. While splurging on children can be so easy for parents, it can sometimes lead to future financial troubles that could otherwise have been avoided. 

Talk with your family this year about realistic expectations. Doing so can give them another gift too; helping them understand money and finances. This doesn't mean you have to say "no" to everything. You can still find ways to provide a holiday surprise that don't come at the expense of your well-being.

3. SET A BUDGET AND STICK TO IT

It's easy to set a budget, but hard to stick to it. Keeping your decided upon budget handy (on your shopping list, or accessible on your phone) is a good way to make sure you always have it handy, and can remind yourself when needed.

4. SAVE SMARTLY

Many stores will offer credit cards as a way to help save on your holiday shopping this year. This can be a fine option for many people, IF they can pay the amount off immediately. Double check before considering this option, and always be sure to consider additional savings. Coupons, promo codes, special deals, and more, can help you save money and stay on budget. 

FamilyMeans can help you stay on a budget too. Contact a financial counselor today with questions on how we can help you have a happy holiday.