Know Your Priorities to Make Holidays Special

Whether you celebrate Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, or the solstice, the holiday season can be stressful—with financial stress often playing a large role.

Figure out what makes the holidays special for you and your family and allocate most of your spending to those things. Maybe there are other, less important things you can scale back or skip.

For instance, if you love hosting a lavish holiday dinner but are ho-hum about festive holiday clothing, don’t buy that new outfit. Budget more for your dinner instead. The key is to set priorities and identify the important things.

And remember that handmade or homemade goodies, charitable gifts, or the gift of time can mean much more to recipients than presents.

Here are some ideas:

* Give loved ones a framed photograph of a place or event that is special to both of you.
* Make a charitable contribution in someone else’s name. Give to a fund that person believes in.
* Offer to help with a project around the house, take a friend to lunch, or just go for a walk together.
* Give baked goods or premade dinners to family or friends.
* Offer to pet sit or babysit free of charge.

The holidays tend to bring people together. “So if you have a bad relationship it’s a great gift to mend it and make amends,” says Rob Severson, a financing coach in Deep Haven, Minn. “You’ll be a lot happier if you don’t wait and it will probably mean a lot more than a box of candy.”

The holidays are about being focused on others, which actually makes it easier to budget. The less self-centered you are, the less likely you are to have financial issues from spending every nickel on yourself.

Generally the holidays require some gift buying. To help get ahead on next year’s shopping, set up a HOpewell HOliday Club account at Hopewell Federal Credit Union today. Call us at 740.522.8311 or contact us at info@hopewellfcu.org.

Copyright 2011 Credit Union National Association Inc. Information subject to change without notice. For use with members of a single credit union. All other rights reserved.

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