Keeping Your Spending Plan Merry During the Holidays

Originally published in Prominence Magazine.

Nothing can blow that spirit of goodwill like taking a look at your credit card statements after the holidays. Here are a few tips to keep you merry this holiday season.

imageDecide who’s in
Think about your usual holiday spending pattern and decide who you would like to consider in your holiday gift giving. You get to choose how you spend your money. Don’t let anyone force your hand.

Open up a holiday account
I would guess that you have an amount you’d like to spend when you think about holiday shopping. Instead of waiting until October/November to start planning your budget, why not open a “holiday account” at your local credit union or bank? Add a specific amount every month and you’ll find that when the holidays arrive, you’ll be sitting pretty without going into debt. It may be too late this year, but it’s never too early to plan for Christmas 2011.

Shop online
There are many good discounts to be had online. Shop early and check prices often. Sign up for online notifications from manufacturers and/or businesses that have a tendency to offer good sales. A great place to find deals is www.SlickDeals.Net; check the forums.

Shop clearance
Check out the clearance page from the manufacturer you want to purchase from. Also, stop by the page for refurbished items if you’re purchasing electronics. Almost every business from designer clothes to cars has to get rid of older stock. Savings of 50% are common.

Follow these tips and you’ll be thrilled to watch your loved ones open their gifts knowing that you won’t regret any of your purchases.

imageShay Olivarria is a financial educator, speaker, and the author of Money Matters: The Get It Done in 1 Minute Workbook and 10 Things College Students Need to Know About Money. Visit her at


  1. “Shop early and check prices often”

    Dammit i still haven’t started my Christmas shopping, literally nothing! Please tell me i’m not alone people..?

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  2. jon9larsen says:

    Thanks for the tips but it just didn’t help. Can’t stop spending money on my little boy smile

  3. Building up a holiday plan is something that requires a structured way of thinking. I understand brainstorming is something that has become very popular recently, and I can understand the use of it in certain situations, but if you plan to do any brainstorming session just keep in mind that it has to be done at the very beginning just to decide which places you have in mind to visit. It can be useful as a departure point. But here it end, and you should always keep away from this unstructured way of thinking along the whole remodelling
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