Primerica’s Top 10 Tips to Reverse Holiday Blues

The average U.S. household will spend less on gifts this holiday season than it has for the last quarter of a century, The Globe and Mail reported recently.

The Conference Board said households are expected to spend an average of $384, the worst inflation-adjusted figure in the 25-year history of the survey.

But that doesn’t mean you can’t make this a memorable year for you and your family.

Here are Primerica’s Top 10 Tips for the holiday season:

  1. Review your finances and determine a budget that makes sense for you.
  2. Set your budget, and, most importantly, stick to it.
  3. Re-evaluate your approach this year, and use all possible resources to help make the most of the season – and make it fun.
  4. Write down your gift list, then prioritize it.  Remember, if you and your family are facing financial challenges right now, you are not alone.  Chances are, most of your friends and relatives have their own challenges and might need to make cutbacks themselves.
  5. Make a point to spend time with people around the holidays.  That’s always more important than the exchange of gifts.  The old adage is still true, there are some things money can’t buy.
  6. Manage expectations for your children and other family members.
  7. Shop online, use coupons, look for rebates, watch for sales and compare prices between stores to get the best bargains possible.  This is an opportunity for you to use the retail-slowdown to your advantage.
  8. Whenever possible, pay cash (or use debit cards) for all gifts.  That said, there are some purchases you should make on your credit card.  But always make sure you can pay them off in full when the bill arrives.  Spending money you don’t have on credit cards is the gift that keeps on giving.
  9. Personal gifts that require more of your time and effort, and usually a lot less money, are the ones that mean the most – and the ones your friends and family members will cherish for a lifetime.
  10. Start a new family tradition by volunteering together for a worthwhile cause.  Even if you don’t have money to make a donation, you can give your time – and that can prove to be a much more worthwhile contribution.

Happy holidays from Primerica, where we still help make dreams come true 365 days a year.

Source:  The Globe and Mail, November 28, 2010

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