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6 Holiday Tips to Improve Your Finances in 2018

If holiday shopping and social obligations have you seeing nothing but dollar signs, you can easily turn worried about your shrinking bank account and growing credit card debt into positive steps for the coming year. Take a little time now – in this busy month of December – to make small changes that will put you in better financial shape for 2018. Here are six tips to help you get started: Look Back At Your Spending If you mostly use credit and debit cards to cover your costs, it’s easy to look back through your statements for 2017 to figure out where your money went. It may be impossible to change your fixed costs – housing, utilities, car payments – but what about the decisions you make from week to week about what to buy and where to spend? You may find your lifestyle contributes to major cash outlays for…

6 Steps to a Financially Happier Holiday Season

A trip to any supermarket or department store quickly reminds you the holiday season is near. Despite still snacking on pumpkin seeds and Halloween candy, it’s still not too late to make a holiday spending plan. Investing a few hours now to craft a plan can save you time and money to help you survive the most wonderful time of the year. Here are six steps so all the spreading of holiday cheer won’t cause you financial stress in the new year. Make a Holiday Spending Map Look carefully at your budget and decide how much you can really afford to spend this holiday season. Then create a spending map that includes all of your holiday spending categories. Keep in mind the money you’ve budgeted has to pay for more than just gifts. Don’t forget things like decorations, travel expenses, tips and extra charitable giving. Although some of these expenses…

5 Ways to Avoid Holiday Overspending

Between all the gift-giving, travel, parties, and big family dinners, overspending during the holidays is a common phenomenon. However, going into the red can make “the most wonderful time of year” downright stressful. Here are five tips for saving money between now and January. Make a Budget and Stick to It Have a lot of friends and relatives to shop for? Before you hit the mall or the “Buy Now” button, make a list with an exact dollar amount that you can afford to spend on each person. And because most of us tend to buy a little something for ourselves while shopping for others, factor a gift for yourself into your budget. If the gifts you planned on buying are marked down, great. But resist the urge to buy extra presents just because they’re on sale. Bonus: Set up holiday savings account now for next year. Parting with $100…