How To Avoid Lifeless Savings During The Holidays

By Xavier Epps, Financial Adviser and Owner of XNE Financial Advising, LLC

Have you saved specifically for this holiday season? Well, if you haven’t, there’s still a solid month available to do so before the temptation to spend hits full-throttle (if you haven’t already seen the commercials and internet ads promoting blockbuster deals on electronics, furniture, autos and more - then you’ll begin seeing them very soon).

In September’s U.S. Department of Commerce Bureau of Economic Analysis report, August Savings Rate checked in at 4.6% --- a decline of 6.1% from the 4.9% in August 2012 and 20.7% decline from the 5.8% rate in August 2011. But a recent survey shows consumers expect to spend on average only 1.9% less on gifts, décor, greeting cards and more this year than last. So we have savings falling dramatically but holiday spending slipping only a little…you must save more in order to be ahead of the game! As mentioned before, there’s still a solid month left to save for holiday purchases, be sure to do the following to limit the usage of borrowed money:

  • Try and sell items you have around the house before donating them. The goal is to bring in more cash for November and December, even if an outfit is sitting in the donation pile, try to sell it first, receiving $25 in cash works out to be more than it’s donation value and the write-off received for tax purposes.
  • Slash family’s entertainment and dining-out budget for November and possibly December. Yes, this will drive the kids crazy but it’s only for a few weeks, they’ll be more than happy with the gifts received than the time lost not going out.
  • Are you purposely overpaying Federal and State taxes for a large refund next year? Check with a tax professional to see…in 2012, the average Federal Refund was $2,803, many grossly overpay taxes, leverage the expected refund by raising exemptions now so you can put away savings today.

When it comes to savings during the holidays, having a budget isn’t just necessary but it’s crucial and helps to avoid new debts. Once your budget has been revamped for the upcoming month(s), sit back and think about the unforeseen…think back to previous holiday’s for possible lessons to learn from. Remember, while you’re allocating more monies to savings specifically for the holiday season, remember that life continues around us, so an emergency can occur and it will put a damper on the budget if funds aren’t already available for them. Don’t forget about the holiday emergencies too! Leave cushion for the unforeseen by taking a percentage of the holiday savings each pay and placing it into an account specifically for holiday emergencies (i.e. missed gifts, extra travel tickets, unexpected guest for holiday dinners, etc…).

Be analytical this season, think of what life could be like financially going into 2014 if savings doesn’t happen today (i.e. No savings means utilization of credit and more debt going into the New Year which means less discretionary spending in the budget beginning January 2014).

Xavier Epps (Financial Adviser and Owner of XNE Financial Advising, LLC)

www.xnefinance.com ǀ This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Find us on Twitter at www.twitter.com/XNEFinancial ǀ Find us on Facebook at www.facebook.com/XNEFinancial ǀ 202.841.4713

Take the Pledge

Savers who make a plan are twice as likely to save successfully. 

Take the America Saves Pledge

Tip of the Day

  • Written by Tammy G. Bruzon | October 21, 2014

    Drum up #holiday cheer w/a #frugal #family project! Share the gift of giving. http://ow.ly/CVOla  

Saver Tips and Stories View all »

Coping with a Lost Job

Written by Katie Bryan | October 28, 2013

Aimee Shaffer worked as a Public Service News Director for radio for years until one day her employer downsized the company, resulting in hundreds of lost jobs, including Aimee’s.

Read more...

Budget like Nohemi

Written by Guest Blogger | April 19, 2019

Nohemi found out about America Saves a few years ago as an undergraduate at the University of Illinois at Chicago. She remembers attending a University of Illinois Saves event where she decorated a piggy bank and took the Pledge, but college life made her put the thought of saving at the back of her mind. Those thrifty thoughts resurfaced when she graduated with a degree in public health.

Read more...

Meet Esmeralda: 2019 SaveYourRefund Grand Prize Winner

Written by Lindsay Ferguson | June 4, 2019

“I have a goal, and I am going to achieve that goal.” 2019 SaveYourRefund Grand Prize Winner Esmeralda says that savings has always been about achieving self-sufficiency amidst tremendous adversity. “It’s hard to pay myself first,” says Esmeralda, particularly when you have to anticipate emergency expenses like a broken down car.

Read more...

Receive Updates

Take the Pledge

Written by Super User | September 16, 2013

Start Saving

Receive Texts

Written by Tammy G. Bruzon | July 15, 2014

Learn More

Partner News & Updates

Written by Katie Bryan | October 18, 2013

Sign Up