The holiday season is almost upon us! One moment it’s all beaches and water balloons, then next moment you’re stuffing a turkey and decorating your house. This is a busy and expensive time for everyone. Nearly every year since 2009, American consumer spending on holiday gifts and other holiday expenses has increased over the previous year. Combine your burgeoning generosity with loads of extra food and alcohol, and you may find yourself with a hefty bill. 

Preparing ahead of time is key to prevent yourself from putting your bills on the back burner while you’re enjoying time with family and friends. With Americans averaging almost one grand on holiday expenses, you’ll definitely feel your bank account and pockets running emptier. The way to prevent that is with a holiday spending plan.

To help you create a sturdy, stable spending plan, I reached deep into the JHA archives and found four articles that would be a great start. 

  • Most experts agree that 1.5% of your income is the right amount to spend on gifts. I wrote an article about that here.
  • One trick that Judy has written about before is to do all your shopping with cash. That way you can keep an envelope for each person you are shopping for, to make sure you stick to your spending plan.
  • Gift cards are a straightforward way to spend a certain amount, but they come with conditions. Read Judy’s article on the laws about gift cards in New York and Connecticut before you buy.
  • If you’re thinking about making a charitable contribution around the holidays, read this article in which I describe the tax implications in plain language.

For the second year in a row, we will be reminded how precious our health is. I hope our clients know that, as your financial concierge, we can help get you what you need — whether it’s to get you to the right people or to just drop off some ibuprofen. We can also make holiday shopping a breeze by simply doing all of it for you. Contact us to learn more. 

Onward to a better 5782!