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College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences


Extension Today: Holiday Finances

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Worried about how much money you end up spending over the holidays?
Start by planning ahead!

Do you often go overboard with buying things for your holiday celebrations, gift-giving, and festive meals this time of year? Keeping holiday spending under control can be a true balancing act for your finances! Learn how to celebrate the holidays without breaking the bank.

Positive thinking  think of it as creating a spending plan versus putting yourself on a budget this time of year. Emily Morrison, Extension educator, joins Jenny Lobb for a discussion about planning ahead to help make this a more joyful season for you and your bank account.

Emily Morrison, an educator focusing on family and consumer sciences, shares several great tips about getting a handle on holiday finances. First and foremost - make a spending plan. Before you even step foot in a store or begin shopping online, sit down and make your spending plan. Start with the total amount you will spend (and be honest with yourself about what you CAN afford to spend), and then divide that among multiple categories.

There are several categories about which you should decide: food, decorations, entertainment, travel, holiday cards, charity, and gifts. Keep the "joy factor" (to quote Emily) in mind. Focus on allocating more money to the areas that bring the most joy to you and your family. It's totally okay to spend less in the areas that don't mean as much to you. And remember - you give your "future self' a gift when you stick to the spending numbers you had in mind. It can be a joy to when you check your bank balance after the holidays and you've stuck to the plan!

We have free fact sheets available on Ohioline and related posts to learn more about saving money, spending wisely, and making informed financial decisions:

Review more Tips to Keeping Holiday Spending in Check with some additional thoughts in this recent article.

And check out another quick summary about how to Be Smart About Holiday Spending.

There's always room to improve! Many of our OSU Extension family and consumer sciences professionals focus on helping everyone have more healthy finances. They can help you and your family make some solid plans to change your saving, spending, and budgeting habits so you can improve your current financial situation. Learn how our experts can help you take a new look at handling money. They offer a number of learning opportunities throughout the staff. See how our Healthy Finances team can improve your relationship with money!