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Financial Fitness Zone: Budget for the holidays

Posted: 7:54 AM, Nov 07, 2017
Updated: 2017-11-07 11:37:04-05

The holidays are almost upon us. It's a time to think about giving to others...but hold up.

You might need to be a little more self-centered as your budget careens toward Christmastime. That just sounds wrong, right? 

"You want to give because it is a good time to give and help people but you have to plan for that."

If you don't plan ahead and put money aside, Sulie Richardson with Desert Schools says forget it.

"You don't want to go into debt over the holidays just because your heart is really feeling big and generous. Once you get out and start shopping, your emotions kick in because everything is maybe marked down. You get excited when you start to buy things for people. It feels good."

Those good feelings get people into trouble all the time. But the message here isn't to be a stingy Scrooge. You've got to plan for those red kettles and fundraisers for those in need; plan for the family you want to adopt over the holidays to make sure they feel loved; plan for the extra food or last-minute travel. If you're not prepared, you won't just feel the Christmas spirit now. It'll stay with you, haunting your new year like the ghost of Christmas yet-to-come and those bills will come. 

"You're going to regret it. You'll get through that. You've got to kind of grow up with your finances and not let your emotions be the driver in all of your decisions."