Gifts

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Holiday Shopping: Save or Splurge

So long, Black Friday. Sayonara, Cyber Monday. It’s the thick of the holiday shopping season. If all your gifts are bought, congratulations. If not, you have plenty of company to stress about buying, wrapping and delivering gifts for the next couple of weeks. With all the holiday hustle and bustle, you’re normal budget judgement may be compromised. So you have to ask yourself, is it worth it to drop the big bucks or is it better to go the frugal route. The answer should always depend on your budget, of course, and there is usually an emotional element at play…

6 Steps to a Financially Happier Holiday Season

A trip to any supermarket or department store quickly reminds you the holiday season is near. Despite still snacking on pumpkin seeds and Halloween candy, it’s still not too late to make a holiday spending plan. Investing a few hours now to craft a plan can save you time and money to help you survive the most wonderful time of the year. Here are six steps so all the spreading of holiday cheer won’t cause you financial stress in the new year. Make a Holiday Spending Map Look carefully at your budget and decide how much you can really afford…

To Share or to Save? That Is the Gifting Question

Let’s assume you have or make enough money that you can afford to give it away. Talk about a good problem to have, right? In any case, what are the tax implications of that gift? Your tax benefits or consequences depend on who receives your gift, how much it is, and when it’s given. Here’s a simple way to think about it: If you want to reduce your tax burden this year, give that money to a qualifying charity. If the goal is reducing the size of your estate – and, thus, the amount that can be taxed after you…

5 Ways to Show your Love for Less This Valentine’s Day

Love is in the air because it’s almost Valentine’s Day. For that special someone you want to treat this year, don’t wait until the last minute. Just a little bit of planning and creativity can help make this Valentine’s Day extra memorable without breaking the bank. Did you know Americans spent close to $20 billion for Valentine’s Day last year? That’s a lot of flowers and chocolates.  Men spent almost twice as much as women, averaging close to $196 on gifts versus a $100 by women. Those between the ages of 25-34 were the most active spenders on Valentine’s Day,…

5 Ways to Enjoy the Holidays for Less

According to a poll released this month by Gallup, American adults are planning to spend an average of $830 on holiday gifts this year. Not only is this $110 more than last year’s projected average, but it’s also the highest on record since 2007. However, a new study by Cornell University psychology professor Tom Gilovich indicates that the best way to increase the enjoyment, satisfaction and general happiness of your loved ones during the holidays is to give them real-life experiences – not material gifts. In addition to being less expensive than a typical present, a shared experience with a…

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