Holiday Season and Finances

How important is money exactly during the holiday season? I personally feel that money is really important during the holidays. Don’t start calling me a Scrooge or thinking that I forgot all about the spirit of Christmas. Both are far from the truth. Let me explain myself.

Here’s why I think it’s important to have additional savings ready for the holiday season:

Ability to throw parties.

I don’t know about you guys but the holiday break is a perfect excuse for me to have good company over. I like to consider myself a pretty darn good host. A part of being a solid host, involves having decent food and drinks for your guests. It’s going to be difficult to purchase enjoyable food and drinks if you don’t have any money saved up to do so.

A few more tips involved with throwing an unforgettable Christmas party:

  • Be accommodating to your guests. You don’t want to purchase a fridge full of meat for a vegetarian crowd. You also don’t want to grab vodka for a beer drinking bunch. It’s important that you consider your gifts prior to purchasing any items for the event.
  • Provide entertainment. Whether you decide to rent a few movies or dust off the old pool table. It’s essential that you find a way to entertain your guests all evening. You don’t want to throw a lame holiday party.
  • Ensure your friends reciprocate. The thing with throwing memorable gatherings is that others are bound to return the favour eventually. You don’t want to be the guy that’s always throwing events. It’s cool to have a circle of friends that takes turns with this.

Travel to visit people.

Do you have family or friends across the country that you want to visit? The holiday season is the perfect opportunity to use your time off to visit those that you rarely get to see. This is why it helps to have money saved up. If you have the money to do so, you can take advantage of the holiday break to travel to wherever it is that you want to visit friends. Without money saved up, you might miss out on some fun opportunities.

Show your appreciation.

I like to purchase gifts to show my appreciation for those around me. Christmas can be that time where you show those around you that you’ve been thinking of them. As you complete college and go through your 20s, you’re told that you’re “too old” for gifts. Why? How can you be too old for a gift? I personally don’t think that anyone is ever too old for a gift. This is why I like to use Christmas as the time where I show those around me that I pay attention and that I care.

What can you do if your financially not ready for this holiday season? What if your finances have been sidetracked and you have no savings left?

Prepare for next year.

The beauty about Christmas is that you know when it’s going to happen. Every year on the 25th of December, it’s Christmas. Instead of dwelling on it, you can begin to prepare for next year. You can use your ING Direct account to setup a separate savings account for this financial goal. The best part about long term savings is that you can set aside a small amount ($20 a week) as you plan to meet the goal.

Prioritize your spending.

Is your shopping habit killing your ability to visit friends? Buying that new Mac Pro might seem like a decent idea at the time, but how will this purchase affect your other financial goals? I like to prioritize my spending so that I spend my money where it matters the most, as opposed to frivolously throwing my money away on crap.

How important is money for you during the holiday season? Am I a complete whacko for even thinking about money and Christmas?

This article was part of a finance and holidays group project coordinated by Go Banking Rates.

(photo credit: Caveman Coker)