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The holidays and money go hand in hand.

We are well into the holiday season and you may feel that you’re scrambling to get everything in order. There are travel plans to consider, events to attend, and gifts to buyall against an inauspicious backdrop of supply chain delays and rising food and gas prices.

The pressure of holiday planning can be hard enough without associated financial obligations causing elevated levels of stress and anxiety.

To help prevent this stress, we want to remind you of the 3 C’s of creating a holiday spending plan:

  • 1. Communicate: Set the right expectations

    As you embark on any holiday planning or spending, we recommend you start with setting the right expectations with yourself, as well as your family and friends.

    The holidays can be a very emotional time, even more so during the pandemic with new restrictions and variants at every turn. Make this time easier by being honest with yourself and your loved ones, especially if your cash flow has been impacted.

    If cash flow is an issue, try suggesting a Secret Santa gift exchange instead of buying gifts for all your family and friends. Friends in your circle who are also feeling tapped out will likely appreciate this gesture. Emphasize that this year you would prefer their ‘presence’ over ‘presents’ as long as travel and gathering restrictions continue to open up.

    Request ‘presence’ over ‘presents’

  • 2. Construct: Prepare your spending plan

    A holiday spending plan is all about telling your money that you are the one in charge! In order to do that you need to put pen to paper and at minimum prepare a simple spending plan.

    Remember to keep it clear and concise. If your spending plan is too complicated, you will be less likely to stick to it.

    We suggest making a list of specific expenses with the columns ‘WHO?’ and ‘HOW MUCH?’. Include the names of the people you are buying gifts for and assign a dollar amount to each of them. This will help you stay focused and avoid wandering through stores or websites wasting precious time that could be spent snuggled up watching your favourite holiday movie with a cup of hot cocoa.

  • 3. Control: Add automation

    The more you stay on top of your money, the more money you’ll have to stay on top of

    To stay in control of your holiday spending plan, set up automatic email or text alerts from your banking app to remind you of what you spent the day before, account balance warnings, or potential irregular activity.

    These alerts will come in handy while multi-tasking many commitments and activities during the holidays.

As you enjoy the holidays, try not to forget that your holiday spending plan is part of a bigger story which includes your monthly spending plan and overall integrated financial plan.

If you need assistance to communicate your financial goals, construct a spending plan, or develop strategies to take control of your finances, don’t hesitate to get in touch!

Happy Holidays from all of us at FLC!

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