| Hi Taylor
- Every year, I feel my anxiety levels shoot up at the beginning of
November. Any tips for surviving Thanksgiving and Christmas without
going broke? - Gwen
Hi Gwen - I sympathize completely. We want our holiday seasons
to be full of joy, and yet this time of year is absolutely treacherous
when it comes to finances. You have to bite the bullet on certain
expenses, but you can find a few ways to cut costs and come out ahead.
Here are the three main areas of concern.
If you fly to see family for either Thanksgiving or Christmas,
you can't really escape the price of plane tickets. Thanksgiving
hosts the two most expensive travel days of the year - the Wednesday
before and the Sunday after - so avoiding those days will make
at least some difference. Christmas isn't much better unless you
choose to fly on Christmas Day or Christmas Eve. The best solutions
are to travel on unconventional days, rack up miles during the
year, and buy your tickets about one month before you fly. When
it comes to sales sites, I really like CheapOair.com. I've had
success finding cheap flights all over the country with this site,
even during busy travel times.
2. Gifts. Do you make a list of who you need to buy for before
you create a holiday budget? If so, you need to flip your process.
Figure out how much you can spend and then break it down to see
how much you can afford per person. If you have a lot of debt,
it might require less gift-giving than you're used to, but that's
the only way to turn things around and stop feeling the financial
dread you're currently experiencing. You can also shop wisely
- using 2-for-1 deals and homemade gifts that help you save. Generosity
is a wonderful thing, but you can't let it put you in the red.
3. Incidentals. Most people don't realize how much unnecessary
spending happens as a result of all the necessary holiday purchases.
After a trip to the mall, you'll be well aware of the $300 you
spent on toys and electronics. However, the $20 you dropped on
coffee and lunch might slip out of your brain. With all the time
off from work and disruption to your routine, you can drop $500
on food and gas and movies without blinking an eye. If you can
fight these spending urges, you'll save a ton of money over the
next two months.
Information presented is for educational purposes only and is not
an offer or solicitation for the sale or purchase of any specific
securities, investments, or investment strategies. Investments involve
risk and, unless otherwise stated, are not guaranteed. Be sure to
first consult with a qualified financial adviser and/or tax professional
before implementing any strategy discussed herein. To submit a question
to be answered in this column, please send it via email to Question@GoFarWithKovar.com,
or via USPS to Taylor Kovar, 415 S 1st St, Suite 300, Lufkin, TX 75901.