If you’re feeling the financial crunch of the holiday season, you’re not alone. With record inflation, rising interest rates and fears of a possible recession, a recent survey found that 43% of Canadians plan to spend less this holiday season than last year.
Six tips to help you be money-smart with your holiday spending:
- Have a shopping budget and stick to it. Santa’s Bag is a free app that helps you create an overall spending budget, then a detailed shopping list with dollar limits for each person.
- Check your wallet and drawers for unused or partially used gift cards or prepaid cards to reduce the cash outlay or credit card charge for gifts.
- Redeem points for practical gifts that make life easier, like a rice cooker or smart home device.
- Don’t let fintech lead to overspending. Innovations in social media and fintech, like BNPL and social commerce, have made spending frictionless. I wrote about this last year in How to Avoid a Holiday Debt Shock, and it’s still relevant.
- Give experiences. Research shows that people tend to be happy with new things initially, until they realize better things are available. Satisfaction with stuff tends to decrease over time, while satisfaction with experiences tends to increase with the passage of time. Consider gifting a museum membership or a season pass to an amusement park – something that can be used more than once.
- Spend time and money on others. People who give back and help others who are less fortunate often say they get back more than they give.
The holiday season is the ideal time for kids to calculate the Does It Make Sense score for items on their wish list. The DIMS score, created by GiftingSense.org, teaches kids the true value of a possible purchase. It helps them thoughtfully consider how much they’ll really use and appreciate something before they ask for it.
Wishing all of our clients, colleagues, friends and families a very Happy Holidays and a healthy and prosperous New Year!