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Let the Holidays Begin

As the new year approaches, it can bring up a lot of anxiety around impending holidays and all the “extras” this time of the year involves. Think about it – there’s extra food, extra or new clothes, extra events, extra company, extra travel and on and on. It can be a total bummer if we don’t stop ourselves and start to plan!

Most of us have a pretty good idea of what we’ll spend for holiday gifts based on past experience and our typical “list” of recipients. But the rest is something that totally escapes us. Most of us candidly don’t plan for or consider holiday and special occasion costs as part of the whole holiday experience.

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So here’s the deal, start by taking out your tablet or phone and mark every single holiday on your calendar that you will celebrate this year and next. If you’re courageous enough, now start listing in your calendar notes of any extra costs that will hit you for that holiday. For example, Halloween – costumes, candy, food for work party – you get the idea. And don’t forget birthdays between now and then either – even cards can be pricey these days!

Now think really honestly with yourself about where the extra cash is coming from to get all this extra stuff this year. I guaranty you that, if you’ll work hard at trimming some other costs each payday, paying cash for these extra items this time around, you can reduce those typically charged holiday expenses in order to have less to pay off after January 1st. If you succeed in reducing those costs this initial year by even $300.00, think what a good thing you will have done for yourselves! Replicate or double that next year with more and earlier attention to these extra costs and before long, you’ll have absorbed it all into your routine expenses – where gifts and holiday costs should be to begin with.

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About Sharon Cabeen

Sharon is an award winning Accredited Financial Counselor, AFC® who has helped clients with budget counseling, debt repayment strategies, and financial education for over 35 years. Her passion is assisting people as they embark on life choices and transitions that involve their personal finances. Recently retired, Sharon is enjoying a successful transition to a slower and simpler pace, she enjoys spending time with friends and family, and the opportunity to try new kitchen creations.
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