Make a List and Check it Twice – Spending Tips for the Holidays

Black Friday and Cyber Monday are past and the holiday sales abound. It is that time of the year that can turn our great money plans upside down. Want to head into 2017 feeling good about your money? As you shop for your holiday gift, decorations and hosting, make sure you have a game plan. Follow these Four Holiday Spending Tips. Make A List If you are shopping for gifts, use my Holiday Spending Worksheet to clarify who you are buying for and what you want to spend per person/item. Watch out for shoulds as in “We should buy them a gift …”. Once you have your list, add it up and make sure you can swing it and still be happy with your credit card statement in January. Click Here to access The Holiday Spending Worksheet. Decide How Much You Will Spend Know your numbers, what you are willing to spend and what your stopping point is.  Consider leaving the credit cards at home and using cash.  It will help you stick to your plan.  When you run out of money, go home! Do Your Research Heading out to wander around the mall with no plan is a recipe for overspending.  Be clear on what you want to purchase and what the regular price is.  Be sure are actually getting a deal or not. Focus on the items in which you can get deep discounts and skip the rest. Check Online You may be able to get great deals without leaving the comfort of your home.  Check major retailers for online specials for the items you are buying.  Look...

Boxing Day: Five tips to keep the merry in the holiday

Believe it or not, Boxing Day does have a history that isn’t about shopping.  The day after Christmas was traditionally the day that servants and tradespeople had off, and they received a gift from their employers – their Christmas Box.  It is now a bank holiday, and an opportunity to spend an extra day with family and friends, relaxing and eating leftovers. In recent history, Boxing Day has become a day for massive shopping expeditions. Post-holiday sales used to start in January, but in the last few decades, sales have begun on the 26th.  This shopping day now rivals the American Black Friday with early openings, insane crowds, long lines ups and anti-social behaviour.  Electronics stores, in particular, will have 50-100 people in lines for hours before the stores open. Crazy, I know, and I invite you to skip the chaos and the possibility of overspending.  However, if you are determined to head out to the stores, have fun and start with these five tips. Decide how much you will spend Know your numbers – what you are willing to spend and what your stopping point is.  Consider leaving the credit cards at home and using cash.  It will help you stick to your plan. When you run out of your planned money, go home! Do your research Heading out to wander around the mall with no plan is a recipe for overspending.  Be clear on what you want to purchase.  Check in to see if it fits your overall goals and be clear on what a regular price is so you know if you are getting a deal...

Think outside of the box-store

It is mid-December and you have been rocking the malls.  The funds are running thin, and you still have some people on your list.  Here are 3 ways to give awesome gifts without blowing the budget. 1.  Make something fun and creative There are so many easy, fun and creative gifts you can make and give at a really reasonable price.  Make up some vanilla extract and vanilla  sugar and gift them in pretty bottles from the dollar store. Use an old mayonnaise jar to create one of these fab gifts in a jar from Kerry at Squawkfox.com.  I love this one for a 5-6 year old. Put together a themed gift basket for a cook, baker, gardener or beach-traveller. 2.  Re-gift something really great The art of re-gifting is all in the quality of the re-gift.  Be upfront that it is a re-gift, and make it really good.  Instead of one new book, give a stack of 8 great books from your shelf. Skip a store bought gift for a re-gift of an out-grown pair of skis, snowboard or skates.   One of the best re-gifts I ever got was a hand-me-down La-z-boy chair – way more than I normally would have received, and it cost the giver nothing.  Yipee! 3. Create an Experience Put together some simple items and an invitation to an experience. Family Cheesy Movie night. Pick up a few old cheesy movies from the bargain bin or your collection and package it up with popcorn, jellybeans and a cozy blanket to make a family fun night in a box. Nuit Romantique. Use a pretty box to...

Luxury For Less

What a week!  Pat Mussieux put on an amazing 3-day Wealth Makers event.  I was so thrilled to give my Luxury For Less prize to Marilyn Garshowitz.  Marilyn was so excited and really understood the idea about Luxury For Less.  Taking action on your money life doesn’t mean not having nice things, great experiences – it just means being creative, flexible and choosy about how you spend your money. The Luxury For Less basket was $417 worth of fabulous items, including a Coach purse!  Total investment in the basket = $141.  Creativity, flexibility and a bit of searching for a great price created this great basket.  Congratulations Marilyn! How can you use creativity, flexibility and a bit of leg-work to create your own Luxury For Less? Have a super...

Free Hugs!

They say the best things in life are free.  Joy, kindness, and laughter are three wonderful and free things that can be shared easily. Several years ago I was mesmerized by this video of Free Hugs in Italy. I know the value of being hugged – touch is a critical element to our well-being.  I loved the idea and knew it was something I wanted to do. This weekend at the massive annual Kempenfest Arts and Crafts fair here in Barrie, Ontario, I got my chance. Ten of us invited thousands of people to have a Free Hug as they moved through the show. We shared over 1500 hugs over four hours with people young and old, big and small. Some told us they hadn’t been hugged in 10 years.  #freehugsbarrie Yes, the best things in life are free.  I was so pleased to share this moment and to give these hugs. I know I got the biggest benefit of it as I experienced the surprise, laughter and joy from all of these marvelous people. What can you do this week that is fun, free, and gives to others and to...