“Hi there! I’m going to need you to give me $1,000 over the next month. Oh… you don’t have it readily available? That’s fine, just put it on your credit card and deal with it later,” said the Christmas holiday season.
Sound too familiar?
Well, according to a recent Gallup Study, ‘consumers anticipate spending an average of $942 on Christmas gifts this year.’ And that’s just gifts! There is still food, travel, and social outings to account for.
Without a plan in place, you and your partner can easily spend more on the holiday than what’s appropriate. Our challenge to you is to set aside 20-30 minutes to plan ahead this holiday season. We’ve provided three simple questions to ask each other to make this gift giving season flawless.
1. How much can you spend this holiday season?
In order to answer this question, you’ll need to know where the money is coming from. Maybe it’s already tucked away in savings, maybe you shift some of your cash flow around, or maybe you anticipate a higher pay day towards the end of the year. Santa likely won’t come down the chimney with it, so be sure to communicate with each other on where the money is coming from and how much to set aside.
2. Who do you need to shop for?
Children, parents, siblings, friends, coworkers, neighbors, teachers, community leaders, babysitter, snow removal folks, barista, fitness coach… The list can go on and on. Where you start and stop is completely up to the two of you.
3. What type of gift, and how much moola, for each person?
Are any of the people on your list something you could make baked goods for, a DIY holiday craft, or send a card to? If you’re like us, the kids in the family always get the biggest percentage of our gift giving budget so we tend to have less to spend on everyone else.
Seriously, that’s it!!! Addressing these three questions will have a major impact on your holiday gift giving experience and wallet. Don’t make it any more complicated than it needs to be (cause ain’t nobody got time for that).
And after you have designed your holiday plan, don’t forget a few of my favorite tips to keep in mind with all the holiday spending galore:
-What someone spends on you doesn’t have to match what (or even if!) you spend on them
- You don’t know the ins and outs of someone’s financial situation, and they don’t know yours. Appreciate the gifts you get, and be thankful for the ability to gift to those you can.
-Implement ‘Secret Santa’ to help reduce the amount of gifts you need to buy
- The secret santa generators can display a maximum dollar amount and have you upload a wish list! Here are some of our favorites:
-Time is the most precious gift of all
- It’s likely your intimate community would rather see you than get a gift from you. Don’t underestimate the value of quality time spent with loved ones.
Written by: Natalie Slagle, CFP® with Fyooz Financial Planning
Natalie Slagle is a Founding Partner of Fyooz Financial Planning with her partner in business and in life, Dan Slagle. Honeyfi and Fyooz Financial Planning have partnered because of a shared vision in helping couples thrive personally and financially. Fyooz Financial Planning is a fee-only financial planning firm providing expert advice for couples, by a couple.