JACKSON, Miss— If your budget doesn’t allow for a lot when it comes to Christmas, News Mississippi has some tips from a financial pro.
Every year Christmas brings joy to kids all over Mississippi, but the parents may be reeling in credit card debt and blown budgets. If your income doesn’t allow for the most expensive gifts, holiday spending could be a nightmare. So where do you start?
“Take out your Christmas money in cash,” says Scott Marshall, founder and advisor at Rivertree Financial, “or if you shop online, get pre-paid debit cards. It’s your accountability.”
Doing this keeps you in budget because that’s the only money available. If you’re generally pressed for cash, planning for the holidays may need to be a year long effort instead of just grabbing the money from the bank during shopping season.
“Look at what you spent on Christmas before, then divide that by twelve. Put that amount back each month,” says Marshall. “That’s what has helped me, personally.”
And even though the toys and clothes bring smiles and joy, Marshall says it’s the heartfelt gifts that matter.
“Kids don’t just need plastic, they need time,” Marshall says, “make a gift card that’s good for one free afternoon with Mom, Dad, or Grandma.”