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...
Happy US Thanksgiving!

Happy US Thanksgiving!

Happy Thanksgiving to you wonderful neighbours to the south. Harvest time has come and gone here in Central Ontario. This farmers market picture is more suited to our Thanksgiving in October. If you are doing the Black Friday extravaganza, on either side of the border, make it safe and reasonable day. Remember that you don’t have to buy it just because it is on sale. Make a list, evaluate it to see if it matches your other goals and then stick to your list as you shop so you are still happy at the end of the...
For Your Family and For Your Business

For Your Family and For Your Business

This week, on both sides of the border, Black Friday Sales advertising will blast out from stores, radios, tvs and online. Black Friday is the Friday following Thanksgiving Day in the United States. It is often regarded as the beginning of the Christmas shopping season and has crossed the border into Canada in recent years. Although the name originated in Philadelphia, wider usage grew based on the idea that retailers traditionally operated at a financial loss or “in the red” from January through November, and “Black Friday” indicates the point at which retailers begin to turn a profit, or “in the black”. So, what does that say about our shopping habits? It is really easy to get sucked into the Myth of Consumption, that it is your duty as a consumer/citizen to shop, buy and consume and the Myth of More, that to be happy you must have more (and more and more). For Your Family and For Your Business If you are going to shop the sales, look at how you can really leverage it for your family and your business. Are there items – gifts, technology, clothing that you need to buy anyway? What do you need in your business that you can buy at a discount? Take advantage of the sales to purchase these and be sure you avoid buying unneeded items! OR … Crazy, I know, but you could skip the chaos and the possibility of overspending altogether. If you are determined to head out to the stores, have fun and start with these Four Great Tips. Make A List If you are shopping for...
Renegotiating The Holidays

Renegotiating The Holidays

“It’s not how much we give, but how much love we put into that giving.” ~ Mother Teresa  Join me this week for this quick video about how you can renegotiate the holidays in ways that will enhance your experience and  keep you on target with what you really want.             1.  Have a conversation with Family and Friends Are you in love with all of the unspoken agreements that you have now around spending time, money and energy? Open the conversation – you are probably not the only one who would like to renegotiate. How much do you really want to spend? Create new agreements. How much travelling? How many parties will you go to? Will you host a party? How can you create community within your means? 2.  Get really clear on Creating your holiday budget How much do you actually spend at the holidays? Is that what you want to do? Make a plan with estimates of how much you want to spend Add it all up – is it reasonable given other goals you have in your life? Your plan will help you to avoid overspending Use the Holiday Spending tool (Click Here) “True generosity has to be good for both the giver and the receiver.” ~Karen Collacutt   © 2014 www.karencollacutt.com Want to use this article in your ezine or website? You can, as long as you include this complete citation with it. Personal finance expert, Karen Collacutt is founder and CEO of Make Friends with Your Money.  Karen works with ambitious people who are making good money but...

Love bites: Celebrating Valentines Day without taking a chunk out of your wallet

The aisle seems to go on forever. Miles of red and pink cards all declaring undying love. Boxes of chocolates stacked and a container of fake roses in cellophane perched on top. He knows he is supposed to get something good for her, plan something special.  A big romantic gesture, ideally a big expensive gesture is required fulfill society’s expectations. So much pressure! Oh, Valentine’s Day how we love (and hate) you! As soon New Year’s is over, the hearts come out and the expectations rise.  I am all for love, don’t get me wrong, but this holiday can feel like a financial pressure cooker decorated with tacky paper hearts. So, what can you do to celebrate love, joy and passion without it biting you in the wallet? Here are five fun and inexpensive ideas to enjoy yourself, play together and enjoy this heart day. Love love Single, married, divorced, widowed, whatever – celebrate love. This lovey-dovey holiday can be tough if you are not in a happy relationship. Don’t get bent about it – choose love. Spend some time with a good friend, an elderly relative, a fun kid. Make heart crafts, play great dance music, sing songs. You could even share your love of love with strangers by giving out Free Hugs. Pick another day This is my personal favorite. My husband and I met on February 6th, so every year we celebrate with a lovely evening out.  We don’t have to fight the crowds or the upleveled prices.  Basically, any other day will cost less for meals, flowers, cards and just about anything else you can...

Happy New Year! Tools to Rock it out

Happy New Year! I love this. The New Year always feels like an opportunity for a fresh start. After enjoying the holiday and taking some time to breathe, think and plan it’s time to rock and roll! Clean the slate of anything that didn’t work well last year, and bring your brilliance to the new beginnings. Are you part of the 54% of people making New Year’s Resolutions to sort out your money once and for all? Whoop!  Good for you – you will find a ton to help you be successful in this New Year’s edition. Read on to learn how to create a really good resolution that you can actually stick to. Follow the five steps to get clear, break it down and see huge results. Meet Naomi and Jamie who made and kept a New Year’s Resolution last year to take control of their finances once and for all. They rocked it out! Find out how much easier it was than they expected. Come play with me in the Money Life Overhaul. It starts in a week and it is just the thing to kick your financial frustrations, stick to your resolution, and give you the tools to really successful. Make 2014 your best year yet! I am so glad to be doing it with you.  Rock it...