Monday Morning Quarter-Buck 1-7-2019 - Strategies to Avoid Holiday Spending Remorse by Kate Welker

Happy New Year Picture.jpg

Happy New Year!  As I mentioned last week, not only did the calendar change, but we are also adding a few new services and blogs!  

Last week I mentioned that Kerrie Beene was launching a “Get Financially Organized 101” program.  She will be live at 1:15 PM EST / 12:15 CST Today (Monday, January 7th) kicking off the Financial Organizational Challenge 2019.  This event will share all the details of the program and will be recorded if you can’t attend live.  

On Wednesday, Kim Anderson will be launching a new blog that will be posted on our website, as well as delivered in your email box.  “Getting Over the Hump” will focus on issues that pre-retirees and retirees often find challenging. Her first release will be called, “Can I Switch from Medicare Advantage to Medigap during OEP (January 1 - March 31, 2019)?”

You will also start to notice the name “Rooted Planning Group” along with Irvine Wealth Planning Strategies.  This is part of our 2019 Rebranding process.

We look forward to working with you and helping you achieve your financial goals in 2019 and beyond! Remember life is about events, supported by dollars and cents!  Building these strategies mentioned by Kate below will help strengthen your roots in 2019!

Strategies to avoid Holiday Spending Remorse

by Kate Welker

This week everyone is still looking forward to the new year, resolutions for a better year and a better you are exciting and hopeful, and the holiday decorations are starting to come down. Unfortunately for many Americans the credit card bills will also start arriving. The site MagnifyMoney tracks Christmas spending and shows that on average Americans acquire over $1,000 of debt over the Christmas season. Did you end this season and find yourself with a higher than normal credit card balance? Are you suffering from some spending remorse?

You might have just finished cleaning up the gifts and decorations, but I’m going to ask you to go back to Christmas for a little bit and make your Christmas list for next year now. Instead of wishes you are going to make a list of everyone you bought for, how much you spent on them, and any other spending you had associated with the holidays.This is much easier to do now while it's fresh in your mind and you can look through your recent spending. Make sure to include food purchased for parties, decorations, teachers gifts, everything above normal monthly spending.

When you have the list completed take a hard look at it. First look at the total number and see how you feel about that. Is the total what you expected or is it much higher than you realized? This list creates the starting point for the amount you should start budgeting now for next year’s Christmas spending. If there are categories that were overspent in, you are now aware to pay attention to that in the future. Use this to set guidelines for where you would like to limit your spending.

Take your total spending and divide that number by 12 to get the amount to set aside monthly. Set these funds aside in a separate account.

Having your list of individuals to purchase gifts for ready to go will also help organize your spending as it happens. As you purchase something record it so you don’t forget and keep a running tally. One of my goals for this next year is to be more thoughtful in the gifts I give, using my money to gift people something they can really use or appreciate. By having the names organized in advance you can also track gift ideas for that individual and be prepared to take advantage of offers throughout the year that can save money or make those budgeted dollars go further.

If you are feeling any financial stress after this holiday season, envision enjoying your Christmas and not worrying about the mounting debt. Take some time to plan and organize your lists and include Christmas spending in your budget throughout the year. Let’s all look forward to enjoying a relaxed holiday and guilt free January.