Jingle Bills: 4 Ways to Stay on The Nice List After Your Holiday Spending

The holidays are full of lists. Grocery lists for what to pick up for your holiday meals. Lists of family, friends, and others for whom you intend to buy gifts. Children include lists of what they want for Christmas in letters to Santa, and Santa in turn holds a list to check which children are deserving of the gifts for which they wish. For many, there is a list that too often goes unheeded, or even uncreated. A list that helps tally the cost of all those icicle lights, two-story inflatable snowmen tied down like circus tents, Christmas Hams, and latest smartphone or tablet for the kids. *1. Set a Budget. *The unheralded budget can be the difference between paying for your gifts during the holiday season, and paying for them for the rest of the year. The good news is that budgets are not all too difficult to make. Figure out how much you have to spend total, then divide it among the holiday activities you have planned. These could be travel, food, decorations, gifts, or any other holiday related expenditures. *2. Be Honest with Yourself.* The trick lies in being completely honest with how much you have to spend and following the budget you worked to create. *3. Don't Confuse Generosity with Materialism.* The emotional reaction from giving an extravagant gift usually lasts shorter than it takes to pay it off. The special people in your life will appreciate your generosity on any level you can afford. *4. Worry about yourself.* Also, don’t worry about keeping up with the Joneses, they’re probably more worried about catching up to season 3 of House of Cards (they keep meaning to finish it but something always came up) than what you’re doing with your money. Apart from creating and sticking to a budget, talk to your local credit union representative or banker, or research for yourself, about financial tools that can help you do more with your money. Here in Cody, Valley Federal Credit Union offers rewards checking that usually offers a better return than many savings accounts at one of the big banks. And for those who can’t escape running up their credit card debt, Valley offers a special holiday loan with rates lower than most credit cards. See if you can use it too pay off those high-interest credit cards. Valley Federal Credit Union , 1902 Cougar Avenue in Cody, 307-587-2274 #reboot #news #sponsored