Budgeting for the Holidays
For some, the holidays are a time where spending spirals out of all control. Splurging on that cousin’s gift or that aunt’s birthday card can lead to a budget that’s hundreds of dollars beyond what you initially thought. And have you given any thought to investing in more long- lasting gifts?
“Toys, Toys, Toys,” said Lisa Minardi of Modern Woodmen of America. “Consider protecting your child’s or grandchild’s future and insurability. Locking in premiums for a life insurance policy is a gift that will last a lifetime.”
Sure, it may not seem like a gift that immediately comes to mind—but it can make a lasting impact for a loved one. Pairing it with a small toy couldn’t hurt, either. Just make sure you don’t go too big. Do you have trouble sticking to your budget that immediately comes to mind during the holiday season?
Minardi recommends the envelope system: just put a name on an envelope for the person you are buying the gift for with cash inside. Do this for all of the people on your list. You can move the money back and forth between the envelopes, but you will still stick to your overall budget.
In recent years, people have turned to online purchases. It’s so easy to click and spend. Instead, take case and purchase a prepaid Visa. When you’ve maxed out your card, you’ve hit your limit! Also, to save a little extra, try e-Cards. They’re fun and don’t even need a stamp! And you can’t forget the merits of a good, old-fashioned pot luck party! Lots of good food, memories, and fun, but with half the work and money.
Back on the even more fiscally responsible side of things, Minardi cautions that the end of the tax year is near.
“Don’t forget to fund your IRA,” says Minardi. “Always pay yourself first.”
Lastly, you could open an MWABank Dollars and Sense Savings Account. Through the Dollars and Sense Financial Literacy Program, children can learn fun financial facts, and even earn $20 each year for completing an age appropriate quiz until age 18. Visit mwabank.com for details.
This is the season of warmth, happiness, family, friends, and love. Please make sure you, and the people you love, are protected and have completed their
trusts, powers of attorney for
health care and finance.
For more information about Modern Woodmen Of America, visit www.modernwoodmen.org.