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With the 4th of July in the rearview mirror, outside temperatures pushing triple digits, the days being nice and long – all of this means only one thing: it is summertime! Not many are thinking about budgeting for the holidays amid the busyness summertime brings.  However, what if having a plan for Christmas, even as early as July, would help financially destress your December? A few tips to help you prepare for Christmas:

  • Start setting aside money as early as possible:

Take the time to sit down and determine roughly how much you want to spend – is it $50, $500, $5,000? Instead of hoping you have enough money come December, 1) determine how much you plan to spend, and 2) how much you can start setting aside each paycheck or each month to meet that goal. Put these funds in a separate account (not checking or your savings) so that you will not be tempted to spend it. Watch this account build up and use it when the time comes to buy presents.

  • Use the time you have in your favor:

If you’re saving for a particular purchase, be active and look for deals in the time you have before making that purchase. Check your local stores for sales. Do your research to see if there are promo codes and other discounts you can apply to the purchase. Often there are sales for Labor Day, Black Friday, Cyber Monday, etc. If proper planning occurs, you should be in better shape to capitalize on your purchases and not pay full price.

  • Have a plan B:

A common saying at Bridgeworth is, “Life happens; let’s plan for it.” What if your 10-year-old refrigerator dies in December? What if your car needs all new tires on top of your HVAC quitting? Be flexible and willing to adjust your Christmas spending plan should major financial inconveniences surface. Ask yourself, “What else could I buy my spouse and/or children for Christmas if a disaster does hit?”

Financial advisors at Bridgeworth strongly emphasize the power of having a plan in place. No matter the goal, any step you take shows discipline and commitment to achieving something better in the future. Take some time today to think about how you want the holiday season to go and start planning now. Your future self will thank you!

Bridgeworth is now a part of Savant Wealth Management as of 11/30/2023. Savant Wealth Management (“Savant”) is an SEC registered investment adviser headquartered in Rockford, Illinois.