There’s only so much lecturing I can do about budgeting so you can save for longer term goals. So, I brought in someone else to do the lecturing for me! Carol Craigie, CFP ®, is the Managing Partner of Fiscal Fitness Clubs of America. Below, some budget friendly and FUN ideas for creatively celebrating the holidays.
From Carol: There are many ways to make the holidays fun and filled with love, without creating stress for next year. Here are some creative solutions I have seen that have brought joy and budget reductions at the same time!
Extended Family Strategies:
- White elephant gift exchange.
- Drawing names, so each person only buys one person a gift with an amount limit.
- No gifts for adults, but gifts for those under 18.
- Creating a “We believe in your future “book for each child, along with a 529 plan. Adults can choose a modest amount to gift each child’s plan and then writes a note in their book sharing wisdom and wishes.
- Gifts of time and shared joy. With this one, each person thinks of something that the others would want, such as cleaning out the garage, catered meal, a trip to the zoo, weekend babysitting etc., and sets a date to spend time doing it along with a note about why you enjoy spending time with the person.
Core Family Strategies:
- A budget set for each person to spend on a defined family combined wish. This could be a vacation, a trip to an amusement park, ski passes, etc. Everyone is then encouraged to give inexpensive meaningful gifts with the balance of funds being contributed to the family’s wish.
- Picking names and setting a budget per recipient.
- Utilizing the gifts of time and shared joy as described above.
- Every family member looks at the three months ahead of the holidays to find ways for earning extra money. That money is then set aside for gift giving. For example, a weekend stocking shift at a local store, lawn cutting, snow shoveling, extra shift at work, chores around the house, etc.
All of these strategies can be ways of both reducing costs, and teaching children valuable lessons by separating money from joy, while still honoring the tradition and love for family and friends.
If you are struggling to live within your means or need strategies to help with debt, I highly recommend Carol. Contact her at email@example.com and check out her the website at www.fiscalfitnessclubs.com