Holly C. Wanegar, CFP®
Associate Vice President & Wealth Advisor
As the winter gifting holidays approach, current economic conditions might cause you to be more cautious than usual about how much you spend on friends and family this year. If rising costs and high interest rates are making you take a second look at your capacity for spending this holiday season, use these tips as a guide to stretch your dollar a little more and help your spirit of giving thrive.
Write A Budget
A budget is a necessity for financial health all year ‘round, but that’s especially true during the holidays. Write out an actual breakdown of your income and expenses to create a budget that will keep you living within your means and away from racking up debt. Once you know what you can afford to spend on gifts, then begin thinking about what to gift your loved ones with – not the other way around.
Pay With Cash, Or Use a Card with Rewards
Inflation is making it more difficult to afford goods and services, and at the same time, interest rates are also going up. So if you use a credit card to purchase gifts, unless you pay off your balance in full you’ll ultimately be spending much more on them than the sticker price. To avoid that – and to keep your spending in check – pay with cash.
If you do use a credit card, be sure you can pay off the entire balance before the next billing cycle. Also try to use a credit card that offers rewards, so you can get a little something back on what you spend. You can find a great comparison of credit card rewards programs at nerdwallet.com.
Shop Sales and Buy Off-Season
This may be obvious, but it bears repeating – keep an eye out for sales, coupon codes, and free shipping perks before making a purchase. If you’re looking for a specific gift, compare that item at various retailers to make sure you’re getting the best deal available. There are a variety of apps that can help you compare prices and snag discounts – check out our blog at whzwealth.com/blog and search “shopping” to see a list of some of the best options.
Following from the above, the only thing better than a sale is a clearance sale! Don’t skip the clearance racks, because you could score a great quality item at a deep discount, just because it’s off-season or the store wants to clear the shelves for newer inventory.
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Support Small Businesses
Sometimes the best gifts aren’t the shiny, expensive “next best thing” items but the unique, one-of-a-kind “just for you” item – and local small businesses are an excellent place to find those. Buying small helps stimulate the local economy and keep jobs in your community which is, of course, a gift to everyone.
Give Yourself A Gift
Yes, you read that right. Give yourself a gift by starting off the New Year without a mountain of debt. Even better, gift yourself with the peace of mind that a strong, strategic financial plan can bring. Learning how to save on holiday gifts is great, but it’s a drop in the bucket when it comes to all you need to know and do in order to achieve your big life goals (and live well along the way). That’s just what we do for our clients, through our Plan Well, Invest Well, Live Well™strategic process. Contact us for a complimentary consultation by calling (860) 928-2341, or request one on our website.
Presented by Associate Vice President, Wealth Advisor Holly C. Wanegar, CFP®. Securities and advisory services offered through Commonwealth Financial Network®, Member FINRA/SIPC, a Registered Investment Adviser. 697 Pomfret Street, Pomfret Center, CT 06259 and 392-A Merrow Road, Tolland, CT 06084, 860.928.2341. http://www.whzwealth.com These materials are general in nature and do not address your specific situation. For your specific investment needs, please discuss your individual circumstances with your financial advisor. Weiss, Hale & Zahansky Strategic Wealth Advisors does not provide tax or legal advice, and nothing in the accompanying pages should be construed as specific tax or legal advice.