Ahhhh…Let that ocean breeze wash over you. Smell that salt air. Feel the sand beneath your feet. Take in the sounds of the boardwalk. There is nothing quite like the shore in summer and the memories you will…
…the Holidays are less than 6 months away!!!
Sorry to burst that beach vibes bubble, but a little planning now can go a long way towards a stress-free and debt-free holiday season. While you are reading this little article, pull out your phone and make some notes…unless you are on vacation with the family!
Holiday items are typically cheaper during the hot summer months since no one is thinking about snowstorms and hot cocoa. Do you plan on buying new lights for the house this year? Retailers typically give steep summer discounts as they look to offload the leftovers from last year. Shopping for decorations now can save tons of money as opposed to buying them in November when the entire neighborhood is vying to be Clark Girswold.
Do you have an idea of what the kids want in their stocking? Know what your partner wants to see covered in wrapping paper? If you can think about these lists now and plan out incremental purchases each month through December, you can avoid soul crushing holiday credit card debt and keep joy in the season. There is nothing worse than turning the page on a new year while carrying tons of avoidable debt on your back.
What about that holiday dinner? Who is coming? How many will be there? What will they want to eat? While you can’t rush out and buy all the ingredients now and keep them until December, you can calculate the cost of dinner should you be hosting. Last year according to Datasembly, the average cost of a holiday meal was $15 per person. If your rotating family schedule has you hosting the big meal this year, you could easily end up spending north of $150 with a family of 10. Plan for that. Put money aside now so the cashier doesn’t watch you go pale at the register just before the big day.
Finally, here is a holiday pro tip: Ask for donations to the kids 529 College Savings Plan instead of mounds of toys taking up valuable square footage in your home. Not only will it reduce clutter (and stress), it is a great way to save for college without you having to shoulder all the burden.
Now get back to enjoying that slice of pizza while gazing out into the Atlantic. Just don’t let a seagull or the holidays sneak up on you!
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