7 Steps to Prepare for Holiday Spending and Plan for the New Year

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We all enjoy spending time with friends and loved ones during the holiday season—but it can also be a stressful time financially. Here are some tips to help you manage holiday spending this year and get a jumpstart on your finances for next year.

Prepare for holiday expenses

Consider cutting back to build up some extra cash

  • Cook at home more often.
  • When grocery shopping, make a list and use coupons.
  • Look for online deals when you shop, and consider DIY gifts.
  • Consider a gift of your time. Can you babysit, dog walk, do yardwork, or give a massage or haircut? Sometimes the gift of your time is the most meaningful—and may help stretch your budget. Get creative!
  • Have a credit card with cash rewards? Consider saving them each month to put toward next year’s holiday spending. A little each month often adds up!

Make a list and stick to it.

  • Plan out who you want to give gifts to.
  • Set a price limit for each person.

Keep track of your spending this coming year.

  • Plan to set aside at least the amount you’ll have spent next year
  • After the holidays are over, set up a savings account earmarked for holiday expenses and consider direct depositing a portion of each paycheck into that account throughout the year.

Planning for the new year

Use these tips to get started on some popular financial goals.

Take control of your debt.

  • Make a list of all your loans, other debts, etc., and rank them from the highest to lowest interest rates. If you can, put extra money (on top of your regular monthly payments) toward paying down the highest-rate loan each month. It could save you thousands in the long run.
  • Consider refinancing your higher-rate loans if lower rates are available.

Create and stick to a budget.

  • List your sources of income and your regular expenses to give yourself an idea of what your current cash flow looks like.
  • Look at your highest expenses, after necessary costs like mortgage/rent, bills, etc. Is there anything that surprises you? Consider reducing those expenses if possible.
  • Reward yourself—within reason—for staying on or under budget. Celebrating small wins can make it easier to keep up your momentum.

Prepare for unexpected expenses.

  • Set up an emergency fund. This fund should be set aside for expenses like unexpected home repairs or medical costs.
  • Consider setting up automatic deposits into your emergency fund to ensure you meet your savings goal. The ideal emergency fund holds three to six months’ worth of your expenses, but that can vary based on your needs and preferences.

Solidify your retirement plan.

  • Think about how you want to live in retirement. Do you plan on traveling, moving, paying off your home, or caring for children or grandchildren? Create a plan that captures all your goals.

Minimize financial stress this holiday season.

Connect with one of our financial advisors today to learn how they can put United Capital’s vast resources to work for you to create a personalized strategy to help maximize your return on life, today and tomorrow.

This commentary contained herein is intended for informational purposes only and should not be construed as tax, legal or investment advice. Past performance is not indicative of future results. Clients should obtain their own tax, legal or investment advice based on their circumstances. The material is based on sources deemed reliable but is not guaranteed.

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