It’s hard to believe the holiday season has arrived. We’re sure you and your students are being bombarded with ads for toys, clothes, and other gifts. Gift-giving pressure can be overwhelming, especially when trying to stick to a budget and pay for school. Here are some money management tips to share with your students to help them stay on track this season.
Savvy Shopping Tips:
- Plan ahead! Make lists of what you plan to get for each person and whether you need to get in online or in a store. Sticking to the list will help avoid impulse purchases.
- Clip coupons & reap rewards! Be on the lookout for deals and coupons. Apps like Honey and Ebates provide discount promo codes and cash back options so you can make holiday spending work for you.
- Watch for attempts to get you to buy more such as “other items you may be interested in” or “frequently purchased with this item,” as they can quickly derail the plan.
Saving and Budgeting:
In addition to smart shopping, saving and budgeting are important as well. Avoid tapping in to emergency savings around the holidays, even when the temptation is there. See if your bank or credit union has Holiday Savings accounts so you can start saving well before the season. If they don’t have anything holiday specific, find out if you can open an additional account to focus specifically on holiday expenses.
Sticking to a budget is key, and not just around the holidays. If you haven’t created a spending plan, one option is to start with FAME’s Spending Plan Worksheet. Knowing what you need to cover everyday costs will help you plan for wise holiday spending.
Homemade Gifts and Experiences:
A great way to save money around the holidays, is to get creative! Maybe you have a hobby you can turn into a gift, like making crafts or baking. Homemade gifts require your time, and the thoughtfulness rarely goes unnoticed. Holiday crafts are also a great project for kids! Check out Pinterest for some great holiday craft ideas.
Another great option is to create shared experiences and traditions that are low or no cost. My parents started the tradition of taking the Christmas cards we received from the prior year, cutting them into strips and adding them to a paper chain. We would drink cocoa and have fun reading the old cards before we cut them up. I’ve continued the tradition with my family over the years and have a chain that goes around the whole house!
Want more resources to help manage your finances year round? Visit FAME’s Money Management section where you’ll find a wealth of tips and free tools.
Thank you for all you do for Maine’s adult students and their families. If you have any questions about money management topics or you would like to schedule a FAME presentation, please contact Maria MacDougal. As always, let us know what we can do to support your efforts!