Holiday planning…in July! Tips for proactive planning for a peaceful and affordable holiday season.
It seems like the holiday season (i.e. Thanksgiving, Christmas) comes way too fast every year, but this year you can take charge and start planning early. When you start early and taking advantage of the extra time, you can maintain your budget today and minimize or eliminate credit card debt and high interest rates in the future.
How do you start?
- Create a list of people you want to buy gifts for and what gift you want to purchase for each person along with how much the gift costs. Include a few extra gifts for the unexpected people you will want to give a gift to during the holiday season.
- Create a budget to help you figure out how much you are able to spend for each person without going into any kind of debt. Readjust the “want to buy” for each person based on the budget you just created.
- Schedule time and assign money to purchasing gifts over the next few months so you can purchase items for each person on your list. Take advantage of budgeting tools available from Fidelity Investments on http://www.netbenefits.com/atwork or log in to the Fidelity site and click on the link for Financial Engines for even more tools.
- Money left over? When the gifts are purchased, you’ve just gotten started. Don’t get caught short when other holiday expenses come up. Put aside money now for holiday travel, gatherings you host and year-end charitable giving.
Do you have a great success story of something you do to plan ahead? Please share it in the comments below!