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The Mountaineer Online

Follow suggestions to stay on track with budget goals during holidays

Judee Kelly

ACS Financial Readiness Program Manager

It’s that time of year when a lot of people throw their budgets out the window all in the name of gift giving for the holidays. Remember that when we overextend our budgets in December, we will be paying in January and maybe much longer.
Here are some suggestions to help you stay on track this holiday:
Before you start your holiday shopping, make a plan.
wBased upon your cash flow, pick a dollar amount (i.e. $100, $500, $1,000 or whatever) that you are comfortable with spending and confident that it will not cause cash flow problems.
wPut all of the folks you buy presents for into different tiers (i.e. kids, parents, grandparents, other relatives, friends, co-workers, etc.)
wTake your total gift fund and allocate a portion to the different tiers based upon their importance to you (i.e. your kids may get a larger amount than friends).
wDivide the number of people in each tier into the amount allocated to that tier and you will know how much to spend on each person.
wThen come up with some ideas of what you could buy with the amount allocated to each person and create a shopping list.
wYou might start your shopping by searching online. Many of the websites selling online don’t have brick and mortar buildings, so they can usually sell things for less. And you’ll at least have an idea of what the item could cost.
Granted, this process may take a little more time than simply going to the store and doing impulse shopping, but it will be a lot easier to deal with the January credit card statement. These are just some thoughts to help you get more out of what you make.
Making a budget that works for us is not an easy thing. There are steps that need to be taken to create a real plan for our money.
The Financial Readiness Program staff can teach you some budget tricks to help you create a budget for your Family to live by all year long.
To learn more about getting and staying financially fit, contact the Financial Readiness Program by calling 772-5196.

The Mountaineer



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