Now we all know that with 7 days until Christmas, the holiday crunch is on. We are frivolously booking those last minute flights, trying to wrap up shopping, for students planning our tuition payments and expecting the new purchases of our textbooks, while trying not to drown in studying for our finals. I mean this is just the normal for the holidays, now if you’re a parent it is getting everything all set for the perfect morning in the holidays, where we provide well-chosen holiday gifts, that are educational without overwhelming our homes with toys that our children will get bored with.
For some of us – especially in the accounting field we are anxiously sticking to a tight budget trying not to go overboard on the new technology that is just wooing us towards better productivity. However, the big and bad truth is the holidays can be expensive, if you’re not a youth, you are planning to have your family home. Buying 2 turkeys, wondering can I squeeze 17 people into my house for the holidays with 5 of them being children?
So here are a couple helpful tips to offset the Holiday Blues and start thinking about your cash flow:
- Make a budget before the holidays start, so there isn’t a need to go into your savings.
- Allot a certain amount that you would like to spend on your gifts per person, remember it doesn’t need to be exuberant, the holidays are about spending time with family. Even consider crafting something special by taking a field trip up to your local craft store.
- Plan a Holiday dinner potluck, where you will handle the main courses, and have your family bring the entrees so the financial burden for financing the dinner doesn’t fall completely on you. This will also save you from having holiday treats left over until the following Halloween from having overprepared.
- For the students reading this post – squirrel away your tuition money from the start of the school year into a separate savings account that is not to be touched so that when January comes around (or whenever your tuition is due) you have the funds to sort out your tuition and textbooks.
- Presents for your children – err on the side of education, whether your children are still romping around the house or adult and out of the house. Look at STEM presents for your younger children, as these can be really engaging and involve you in their play time. Or if your children are in school or off in college, consider gift cards to their favourite stores or even the on-campus bookstore to help offset their expenses for the new year. Maybe you can even consider some Rocketbooks to help them store their notes without breaking their backs.
Now with 7 days left, you’ll have to add these to your to-do list for next year but:
- Consider buying items for next year after Christmas when all the sales are on. It’s a great time to stock up on holiday wrapping, decorations & cards.
- Buy for Christmas throughout the year when you see something that you think a loved one would enjoy -that way your cash flow is more even throughout the year and you don’t have to brave the mall the day before Christmas.
Don’t forget the best way to spend the holidays is with friends and family, or if you are a single person taking a vacation to spoil yourself since the office is bound to be closed anyways.
Happy Holidays from the Hawkins and Co family to you.