ByMariaLopez Weekly Financial Tips:

How do we prepare for the Holiday Season?

I love the season of Fall! ? The air and the breeze in the afternoons are just beautiful!
My 6 personal financial tips as we prepare to rejoice the 2017 Holiday season:

1. Giving is a beautiful gift and sharing with our family and friends and community is wonderful! There were several natural disasters this year; many families and children will welcome a new toy, new clothing and a great meal!
2. We choose what the Holiday season means to us! As we plan to give gifts, i invite us to write down a list of what we are buying and it’s estimated cost. Let’s create a budget!
4. Do we already have the available funds to purchase the gifts for our loved ones? If not, there is still time to save in the next 2 months; I would recommend we use a separate savings account to put aside the funds.
3. Let’s be resourceful; the same product or item can be purchased for a lot less in a different store.
4. The overuse of credit cards do not make a season bright! So, we decide if we want to build more on a high credit card debt balance or create other affordable alternatives of how to celebrate the season with our family!
5. Let’s not fall for “sales” and “discounts” at department stores; let’s do our research before we buy!
6. My always favorite: Play some Holiday ? music!! ?
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Creating financial habits for kids:

Yes! It’s back to School time! Do you remember those days before the start of a new school year? It was the excitement of a new beginning, new friends, seeing old friends again, new school supplies, joining the cheerleading team or the football team! Remember that?

Remember the school supplies, books, notebooks, pens, etc., it was all brand new, it smelled brand new!

As the shopping for new uniforms and new school supplies begins, it is an opportunity to teach our kids, young and older, about finances. Some parents may have all of the financial resources available to make those purchases and other parents may not!  In my school years, I wanted everything, everything looked beautiful!!  The truth: we couldn’t afford everything!

So, what’s really important? Let’s be realistic: do we need to buy the 5 most expensive pretty notebooks? Do we need to buy 10 uniforms now; how about buy 4 now, and then the rest in 3 months from now? Do we need to buy the most beautiful and expensive book bag?

My suggestion: Have conversations with kids that will allow them to make sound informed financial decisions; conversations that will assist them how to best utilize financial resources and make purchases that make sense!

My recommendation: let’s stay away from using those phrases like: “money does not grow on trees”, or “we don’t have any money”. I would suggest having conversations about “deferred gratification” and teach them to become resourceful in finding the store that offers the item they are looking for at the best lowest price.

I wish all of you: parents and kids, young and older, a wonderful 2017-2018 new school Year!

CPA, Public Speaker, Financial Advisor