The Richmond Register

Breaking News

Lifestyles & Community

November 20, 2013

Preparing your finances for the holidays now


To help reduce holiday stress and after-holiday bills, often known as the holiday financial hangover, now is the time to start preparing for upcoming holiday expenses.  

So before the holiday season steps into high gear, and you step out the door to do some shopping on Black Friday, take time to get prepared.

Review your current financial situation and determine a holiday spending limit that works with your family budget.

To make certain you are not tempted to increase your limit as the season progresses, develop a holiday budget for gift-giving, food, travel and entertainment expenses.

Potential additional expenses which are often forgotten in a holiday budget include gasoline, babysitter fees and eating out more often.

As you work on your budget, start by making a list of everyone you plan to give a gift, including children, loved ones, teachers, babysitters, hair stylist, etc. Identify a realistic spending limit and possible gift idea for each person on your list.

It is important that you not feel pressured to give anyone a gift. If your finances are tighter this year than normal, consider a hand-written note expressing thanks or appreciation.

Continue to work your way through your holiday budget estimating other anticipated expenses. If you have receipts or credit card statements from last year, you may be able to use these as a guide in developing a realistic estimate for travel, entertainment and food expenses.

As you are preparing your finances for the upcoming holidays, you will also want to think about how you pay for your holiday shopping and expenses.

You are less likely to overspend if you pay with cash as opposed to using a credit card. If you are using cash, once all your cash is gone, you are finished with your holiday shopping.

Many stores are now offering layaway plans.  If you decide to use a store layaway option, be certain to check the return policy and keep track of all payments.

Plan your holiday shopping trips ahead of time. Review store ads and know exactly who and what you are shopping for prior to entering the store. This is particularly easy to do now, since many stores post their ads online well in advance of the actual sale.

Impromptu shopping trips and wandering around a store looking for gift ideas can lead to impulsive purchases, which were not part of your original budget. Do your window shopping at home using catalogs or online so that you know exactly what you want when are at the store.

Finally, remember holiday sales can be tempting, but once you are in the store stick with your original budget.

Source: Jennifer L. Hunter, Extension Specialist for Family Financial Management, University of Kentucky; College of Agriculture, Food and Environment.


Text Only
Lifestyles & Community
  • Bee on the lookout as beekeepers convene

    Summer vacation season is in full swing, and I had the pleasure of spending the last week and a half filling in at the Farm Store while the store manager, Bethany Pratt, got a welcome respite soaking up the beauty of Ireland.

    July 30, 2014

  • Amanda-Sears-c.jpg Cicada-killer wasps are here

    The extension office has received numerous phone calls over the past couple of weeks about large wasps hovering in yards all over the county.
    This insect is called the cicada killer, and despite its aggressive name, it is not something to be scared of.

    July 29, 2014 1 Photo

  • Brandon-Sears-c.jpg Converting from year-round calving to a controlled breeding season

    Maintaining a controlled breeding and calving season can be one of the most important management tools for cow-calf producers.
    Uniform, heavier and more valuable calves are key reasons to keep the breeding season short.

    July 29, 2014 1 Photo

  • 7-29 Nostalgia-Glenmore.jpg Paper boys learned life, business lessons

    I often flash back to the days from the mid to late 1930s when I was a paper boy.
    There were 10 or 12 of us who rolled out of bed at 5 a.m. every day, jumped on our bicycles and headed downtown to the Glyndon Hotel and picked up our papers for delivery.

    July 28, 2014 1 Photo

  • Dick-Ham.jpg Here’s why teachers aren’t paid enough

    The following were included in last year’s exams and were answered by 16-year-old high school students. The answers are genuine, and we must remember that these youngsters will grow up to vote, marry and become parents. It’s a scary thought.

    July 28, 2014 1 Photo

  • 7-24 4-H Entries 1.jpg 4-H exhibits are family affair for the Houstons

    Five children from the same family were the first to bring their 4-H exhibits Wednesday to the Madison County Fairgrounds.

    July 24, 2014 5 Photos

  • 7-22 Band Camp 1.jpg Band students ‛take over’ MCHS campus

    The Madison Central High School campus has been “taken over” for two weeks by 170 students attending band camp.

    July 21, 2014 6 Photos

  • Dr-Jack-Rutherford.jpg Warning labels needed on energy drinks

    The popularity of energy drinks has soared since they entered the marketplace, but at least one consumer group wants the FDA to order warnings on product labels.

    July 18, 2014 1 Photo

  • Donna-Moberly.jpg Full Gospel ‛Back to School Bash’ is Aug. 2

    Hello everyone.
    I guess everyone is asking, “How much rain did we get?”

    July 17, 2014 1 Photo

  • Katie-Rollins.jpg Thank the Lord for the rain

    Hello readers, it’s a stormy Monday evening as I write this, and I’ve been thanking the Lord all day for the good rain – over an inch in the gauge now, and it looks like more before morning.

    July 17, 2014 1 Photo