It’s that time of year again. It kicks off on Black Friday, next is Cyber Monday and after that everyone is off and running, sometimes with credit cards in hand. There are some great bargains to be had no doubt.
Do you factor in this time of year in your budget? Do you set aside money for this holiday season? If not, it may be something to consider. Given the rate of interest some credit cards charge you may be spending much more than the original retail value of the products you purchase if you charge an item and then pay the monthly minimum payment. I know BAH HUMBUG right? Wrong.
You should absolutely enjoy the holiday season. There are many ways to do this and not spend the next 6 months paying it off. Some fun suggestions are:
- Skilled Shopper – Set a minimum on gift purchase. Each person buys a gift within the limit (i.e. $ 15.00) for every member of the family. Everyone kicks in an additional $ 5-10 into the “pot”. The person who is the savviest shopper wins the pot. Coupons and store deals can and should apply to this game. The winner would be determined by the highest original MSRP.
- The Experience – Instead of buying gifts everyone chips in and buys an experience. You pick an activity that everyone can enjoy and experience together. In addition to the experience everyone should purchase a picture frame. Take plenty of pictures on your experience. Then every member will pick a picture put it in the frame they purchased and gift it to a member of their family wrapped with a note why they liked the picture and what is their best memory about the adventure.
- One for you, one for me – You give yourself a budget for every person on your gift list. For every bargain you get you pay yourself the difference and invest that amount immediately. For example, if you plan on spending $ 100.00 on your Mom but you find her gift on sale and it costs you $75.00 you invest the additional $ 25.00 for yourself. This is a fun way to add to your investments.
These are just a few of the many things you can do this holiday season. We all know its not about the gifts, its about the moments you create with the people you love.
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