By Holly Petraeus, Consumer Financial Protection Bureau
Ready or not, the holiday shopping season is here. Whether you’re anxiously waiting for Black Friday, Super Saturday, Cyber Monday or any of the multiple sale days between now and the end of the year, you can avoid being served a heaping side of seasonal debt along with your plate of turkey and stuffing if you keep a few smart saver tips in mind.
By Andia Dinesen AFC ® - Vice President, Association of Military Banks of America
When planning for the expense of the holiday season, it seems like I always spend more then I planned to because I forget about the little costs that add up. Especially when it comes to my sister, I like to shop in person and buy gifts for her that I can see and touch. There is nothing like the shock of piling up the gifts (I just had to get her) and then realizing that those objects have to go to overseas! Luckily she has an APO address, but really, sending her three flat-rate boxes is an expense that I forget to account for… every year! Then there are other state-side relatives, friends, etc. Every year these gifts go out the door and I forget that it will be another $100+ of shipping costs. Sometimes I am lucky and what I want to get for them I can get online and take advantage of some holiday sales or at least free shipping.
Celebrating the holidays should be the most wonderful time of the year…unless you’re feeling stressed! With the additional financial pressures that come with the “season of giving” many military families often feel the stress from being separated from family and friends. Service to county doesn't break for holidays or special occasions, servicemembers are still away on deployment, finances may already be tight, and that doesn't leave a lot of money for gifts. However, servicemembers and their families are some of the most deserving – Thank you for your sacrifice throughout the year!
By Xavier Epps, Financial Adviser and Owner of XNE Financial Advising, LLC
Have you saved specifically for this holiday season? Well, if you haven’t, there’s still a solid month available to do so before the temptation to spend hits full-throttle (if you haven’t already seen the commercials and internet ads promoting blockbuster deals on electronics, furniture, autos and more - then you’ll begin seeing them very soon).
By Barbara Miller, Financial Counselling Supervisor with LSS Financial Counseling
For many families, the holidays and overspending go hand in hand. As a financial counselor, I see it all the time. Clients seldom think about budgeting BEFORE the holidays arrive. While the idea seems simple; it’s the execution that’s the problem! With some planning and creativity, you can still have a joyous holiday season this year and every year after without busting your budget.