Avoid overspending this holiday season - | WBTV Charlotte

Avoid overspending this holiday season

Emotions run high during the holidays and we often want to get that perfect gift for our loved ones.  There's one slight issue, we tend to over extend ourselves and continue to pay for the gift well into the New Year and in some cases we're still paying on that same gift into the late spring and early summer.
Financial planner, Cynthia Richards-Donald, MBA, CFP, stopped by WBTV News Sunday Morning to share tips to help alleviate some of that stress. She says it's important to take stock and have a plan. 
Things to consider:
1.      Agreeing on a dollar amount to spend on gifts. If you have a lot of people to buy for, assign them a dollar value for spending purposes.   
2.      Consider pulling names from a hat if you have a lot of people to purchase gifts for. You can also make this fun by playing a game. In the White Elephant game, you purchase a gift and each person in the room gets one but the last person to go can steal the other person's gift.
3.      Reward points on your credit cards can be used to purchase gifts too.  If you've accumulated points on your credit cards, you can oftentimes shop their magazines for gift ideas and purchase items using your points.
4.      You can find reasonable gifts for less by looking at Groupon or other websites that offer deep discounts.
5.      Baking homemade cookies for your friends and placing them in a beautifully wrapped tin.  They will enjoy your thoughtfulness and the treat.
Try not to let your emotions get the best of you this holiday season.  Create a budget and stick to it. A common New Year's resolution that people make is to get their finances under control.  You're encouraged to sit down with your financial adviser in the New Year and if you don't have one, MassMutual Carolina's has a team of financial planners who can assist you with creating a budget, foundational planning and wealth planning that will carry you through the New Year and beyond.    
For more information, visit https://carolinas.massmutual.com/

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