The excitement of the holidays can overtake remembering expenses such as rent, mortgage, utilities, credit card payments and auto bills. The fact that you are trying to balance your budget with a great family holiday experience shows you are already on the right track! Here are some suggestions that may help:
- Consider a year of “giving” instead of getting. Talk with your kids about the importance of giving back. Coordinate their donations of toys they no longer use, volunteer at a soup kitchen or carol together at a local nursing home.
- Create homemade gifts such as cookies or photo-books.
- Decide on a smaller dollar amount for family gift exchanges and draw names so you are only buying for one person, instead of everyone.
- Suggest gifts of service for each other: kids offer to clean up beyond their chores or assist in dinner preparation; Parents, offer special time with each child doing some activity of the child’s choice; and remember each other in some way as well.
- Give the gift of cash. Even a small cash gift can help a friend or relative with basic costs during an expensive time of year. This is a universal gift that everyone will appreciate and it ends up saving you the headache of extra costs for taxes, shipping or handling.
Remember, balancing your budget any time of the year can be tough. LifeSolutions is an excellent resource to help you take a second look and see what you can do. You can access LifeSolutions at www.hr.pitt.edu/lifesolutions
for financial information, financial calculators, and articles on how to balance a budget while also trying to be generous during the holidays. Click on the highlighted LifeSolutions link, then click on the green arrow to visit our WorkLife portal.
You can also call us at 1-866-647-3432 to schedule a free and confidential appointment with one of our counselors.