5 Ways to Manage Holiday Financial Stress
Your goals these holidays include not overeating, staying calm, and not OVER-SPENDING. The last thing you want is the credit card hangover in January and starting 2013 on the wrong money foot. Start getting ready to check off items on your YEAR-END Checklist.
WHAT IS YOUR NUMBER?
Come up with a number that you can afford. This is the number that you will see in January and don’t have a mini-heart attack. It must include all your gifts, holiday cards, entertainment, and travel. If it helps, take it out in cash and leave your credit cards at home.
MAKE A LIST
Now that you have your number, divvy it up between all the nieces and nephews on your list. Be realistic. Write down the gifts you plan to buy and the dollar amount. Remember, you are taking such good care of your financial self by not overspending and staying within your money means.
USE AN APP
Some of my favorite apps can be tailored to your holiday spending. Checkout Easy Envelope Budget Aid (EEBA). Input that total amount you can spend into an envelope on your smart phone; and every time you purchase a gift, you instantly see the money you have left.
DON’T BUY GIFT CARDS
A large percentage of gift cards go unused. Why are you wasting your money buying them as gifts for the little ones when they probably won’t bother using them? Find another way to buy a gift.
TOP OFF YOUR ROTH IRA.
While this may not be an obvious holiday gift, it is actually the best holiday gift you can buy yourself. The maximum to contribute to a ROTH IRA for 2012 is $5,000 and another $1,000 if you are over 50. By maxing out your ROTH IRA for the next 20 years, you can potentially save over $200,000! Have you maxed out that amount for this year? Why not start 2013 with a fresh money slate rather than playing catch-up all year long?
What else can you do to manage your holiday financial stress? Share your opinions in the comments section!
Published: November 26, 2012