Letters of the Heart – November 2014

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Cut Holiday Costs without Cutting Value

November is a good time to talk about money. Why? Because during November and December, people spend on travel, gifts, and food at a rate of three to four times their ordinary rate of spending. The result is that many people end the holiday season in January with a profound sense of loss—in the pocketbook.

So I thought it would add value to your life to discuss some approaches to spending wisely over this holiday season. Here are some of my suggestions for cutting costs without cutting the fun.
  1. Instead of cooking everything for your holiday parties yourself, invite guests to bring a dish, dessert, or drink they can share with others. Coordinate so that you don’t get too many cookie plates and too few main dishes.
  2. Think of high-value gifts that don’t cost a lot. A gift basket filled with low-cost, but fun items is a big hit.
  3. When someone in your life has expensive tastes, see if you can get relatives to share the cost, and that can be their gift. A 14 year old boy would probably prefer to get one new Xbox from four relatives than get four separate gifts of clothes and books.
  4. Make your own decorations instead of buying them. Google DIY Christmas (or whatever holiday you prefer) Decorations, and you’ll get tons of ideas!
If you put your mind to it before you start spending, you can probably come up with even more ways to save this holiday season. Let me know what you find.
Melanie Bowers
Your Consultant For Life
P.S.  Another way to save is to use e-cards instead of mailed cards this Christmas season. If you want to send me an e-card, send it to: melaniebowers@gmail.com. I’d also love to hear from you in person at 801-910-7436.

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