Attention: As of today, there are 16 days until Christmas! The holiday is almost here. If you haven’t bought all of your Christmas presents yet, panic might be settling in… and when we panic, we don’t always make the best decisions. People notoriously spend a lot of money during the holidays, but they don’t always spend smart. In America alone, holiday spending is estimated to be around $730.2 billion. At this point, it’s hard to separate Christmas from its commercialization. This blog is to help you last-minute shoppers figure out how to spend smart this Christmas.
It’s never too late to make a budget. To start, subtract your monthly expenses from your monthly income. I suggest putting a portion of that difference away to save or, better yet, invest. You have to find the winning percentage that’s right for you. Take the remainder and use that amount for your Christmas budget.
Then, make a list (and check it twice) of everyone you know that you need to buy for and how much you can afford to spend on them. With extended family, consider Secret Santa or some kind of gift exchange. This will allow you to buy a great gift for one designated person rather than many.
2. Avoid Credit Card Debt
The average American has $6,000 in debt. High interest rates with credit cards make goods cost way more than they are worth if not paid responsibly. If you use credit cards this season, make sure you are AT LEAST paying the minimum payment that will come in January!
The actual definition of the word consume is to do away with completely, or to destroy. Now, that’s not meant to scare you. After all, I buy my fair share of consumer goods! However, it is meant to caution you to spend smart, mindfully, on things that will really bring value to your loved ones’ lives.
3. Discover a New Revenue Stream
Out with the old, in with the new. You are probably going to be getting your fair share of presents this Christmas too, so you might as well eliminate what you don’t need to make room for your new stuff! Facebook marketplace, yard sales, or consignment shops are a great way to make extra cash for things you don’t need— and, it can help other people who are trying to catch deals this holiday season.
Other ways to make extra cash are to start a side hustle; take online surveys; drive for DoorDash, Uber, or Lyft; Rent out a room(s) in your house(s); babysit while parents do their Christmas shopping, or pet-sit while owners are away.
You can also get rid of your unnecessary expenses for the rest of the month like eating out (a lot of restaurants, at least in Colorado, aren’t open for dine-in anyway) or stopping at your favorite coffeeshop every morning. (You can still shop local during this time by opting to give people gift cards to local establishments for Christmas). Put all that extra cash in your Christmas spending pot and you may not have to dip into savings or use a credit card!
4) Give Gifts that Grow
I have always remembered a quote that I read while in school for my MBA program— “Wealth is created when assets move from a lower to a higher-valued asset.” Giving our loved ones assets that help them build wealth is a great way to “get them in the game” for 2021!
Think about it. You can go to an electronics store and purchase a gift on credit that immediately begins to a) charge you interest and b) loses its value. A new model will be out in months, and in years whatever technology you buy today will be laughably out of style.
I’ll never forget the story of the boy who wanted a dirt bike and his dad bought him a cow instead. The boy was confused. “What am I going to do with a cow?” he thought. Well, that cow produced milk that the boy could sell, and later produced twins! That’s the difference between giving someone an asset and giving someone a liability. The boy could sell the milk, sell the cows, or keep reproducing cows until he had more than enough money to buy 3+ dirt bikes! I know not everyone has the land or means to go putting cows under the tree. I am simply challenging you to change the way you think about gift-giving.
- Consider the gift of stocks, mutual funds, or bonds. They aren’t the most immediately gratifying gift, especially for a young kid who has their heart fixed on a set of legos but, unlike a toy, stocks and bonds will continue to grow in value.
- Pay a chunk of someone’s student loans. (Unless something changes, federal student loans will no longer be frozen after December 31, 2020.)
- Start or contribute to someone’s Roth IRA. It will grow interest, tax-free, over time!
- Help someone invest in themselves by purchasing them a master class in their area of interest, tickets to a conference, or books. A monthly or yearly subscription to WealthBuilders University will give your loved one access to a number of courses that will teach them how to grow their wealth & leadership skills substantially!
Conclusion & Partnership
We have given you a lot of ways to spend smart and get the most value for your budget. On the flip side, if you want to give US a gift this holiday season, we are looking for partners to help further our WealthBuilders mission.
As a partner with WealthBuilders, you help to broaden the mission to coach, teach, and train entrepreneurs in the areas of wealth-building for the kingdom. Partners are the ones who empower us to go overseas and provide our training. Monthly partners are the ones who enable us to provide needed infrastructure, produce education materials, send us to our sites, and sponsor conferences worldwide. Your partnership empowers our team to carry out the mission of making sense of making money for making a difference. Most importantly, your partnership helps us change people’s lives. When you become a monthly financial partner with WealthBuilders, you become a part of our global mission. If you feel led to partner with us this season, click here.