The Christmas season is coming up fast. While red is the typical Christmas color, it is not the favorite financial color; certainly not the color of choice for how people want to end the year financially. For many, Christmas is a budget buster; they spend through their savings only to end up putting the balance on credit cards; thinking, “This will be easy to pay off during the next few months.”
Here is a suggestion. Begin creating a gift list now and pricing each item, then shop around for the extremes— highest and lowest prices for each item (manufacturer’s suggested retail price versus sale price). Save/ budget for the highest price and make the purchase at the lowest price, then put the difference into savings.
We will discover two things as we exercise the discipline of putting the difference into savings: We will enjoy shopping for deals more instead of paying the regular retail price; and we can make this into a game with the children while teaching the value of saving and how to shop. They will become more savvy consumers and will enjoy growing their savings.
Everyone loves a good sale and sharing great finds with their friends. Take control of the Christmas season by putting the savings into the nest egg. With a Black Christmas, shoppers will feel more security and peace of mind as they end the season in the black.
Wendell Brock, MBA, ChFC, is a chartered financial consultant and owner of Outside Investment Advisors, in McKinney. For more information on financial planning, call 214-937-9905.