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November 27th, 2015

Budgeting for christmas 2015

 

This Christmas…

Resi$t the urge to $plurge

For the unprepared, Christmas can come at a high price.  Between gifts, wrapping paper, parties and impulse buying, Christmas can spell financial ruin even for the most savvy of investors.   With intelligent cost cutting and creative thinking, Christmas does not have to be drain on your wallet.

Unfortunately, many people end up dreading the Christmas season simply because it often means incredible amounts of debt and financial stress. And in a world where investors are bombarded with financial and economic stresses, there is really no need to add to the burden.

The biggest reason people implode financially during Christmas is failure to plan and budget.Many times it is difficult to remember exactly how your money was spent, and often times this money is wasted on frivolous purchases. Having and sticking to a Christmas budget will ensure peace of mind and allow investors to stay out of the red.

So where do you start?  The first step is to make a list, as simple as this sounds, this is crucial to setting stage for the Yuletide season.Once you decide who is deserving of a gift, determine how much money you can realistically afford to spend. Then, designate a set portion of the total amount for each person on your list.

For example, let’s say you have $600 to spend, and you need to buy gifts for ten family members and five friends. You may decide that you’ll spend $40 on each person on the list. On the other hand, you may want to spend $50 on each of your family members and $20 on each of your friends.

Avoid the urge of purchasing gifts for yourself, as this can increase your budget with unplanned expenses. Staying focused in the mist of the festivity is crucial, so you may want to reconsider spending your hard-earned income on elaborate decorations and exquisite food and beverages since they would only result in more debt.Following a good budget can lower debt, increase funding for saving and investing, and reduce the overall stress associated with this time of year.

Unfortunately, many holiday shoppers let their emotions get the best of them, and they end up overspending.  Not only will overspending break your budget, but you’ll also deplete your finances and ruin your budget strategy.

Anotherproven strategy for making Christmas less expensive down is refusing to go into debt via the credit card. Simply put, there is no defensible reason to spend money you don’t have on Christmas. As tempting as the use of your credit card isfor shopping, its use should be judicious and not be used in reckless manner as profligate spending will derail your well-intentioned plans.One way to force yourself to stick to your holiday budget is to pay for all your gifts with cash. Simply withdraw the amount that you can afford to spend on your holiday gifts, when that money is gone, Christmas time is over.

As an investor at Christmas, it would be prudent to give financial gifts that would assist in improving the financial well-being of family and friends. Cash gifts do not have a lasting value because the money is quickly spent and toys and gadgets can quickly become obsolete in today’s technology obsessed society.

A good way to introduce relatives and friends to the world of investing would be giving a gift of units into any of UTC’s funds,namely UTC Universal Retirement Fundto motivate those who are in dire need a retirement option, or by opening a UTC TT $ Income Fundfor the beginner investor. For the more sophisticated family member, there is the Growth and Income Fund familywhere the investor has the potential to earn capital growth and dividend income.

In this way, you can ignite the savings habit and create an investment mindset for relatives and friends and introduce them to the concept of diversification.   Such actions can go a long way towards putting them on the path to investing and assist them in attaining some measure of confidence in improving their financial health.

Try these Christmas holiday spending budget strategies to ease financial tension during this hectic Christmas season:

Create a budget. Determine how much money is available for you to spend based on your current financial situation. Be realistic with your Christmas holiday spending budget, regardless of how much or little you can play with. This is your spending limit, and your goal is to stay within it. There’s no need to get into extensive debt because of the holidays.

Make a list. List everyone that you need to furnish a gift for so you can create a realistic plan to accommodate your gift-giving needs.

 Start now: If you have not started working on a budget, now is a good time to start. Avoid leaving your Christmas shopping until the last moment – otherwise you’ll likely pay higher prices and spend more time feeling aggravated in the line.

Don’t let Scrooge overshadow your Christmas festivities.  Christmas budgeting may seem like a humbling or constricting endeavor, but it can actually be very enlightening if approached with an open mind.