Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Are You Getting a Christmas Bonus This Year?

Have you thought of what you're going to do with your Christmas bonus? Maybe it's already spent; I hope not! The obvious answer may be to spend it on Christmas gifts. Here are a few other suggestions:
  • Pay down on your debt (credit cards, line of credits, loans, etc)
  • Consider making an additional payment on your mortgage (check out your banks pre-payment options)
  • Put it aside for a rainy day. It could be your emergency fund
  • Invest it in an RRSP or GIC or even an RESP(if you have children)
  • You could give it all away (this is the time of year when a lot of families are in need, check out local charities or homeless shelters)
What do you normally do with your Christmas bonus?

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

It's funny, Christmas is the same day every year but yet we have a hard time budgeting for gifts. Here are some tips that may help you stay on track.
  1. Determine exactly how much money you can afford to spend on gifts without using your credit cards, line of credits or overdraft
  2. Make a list of everyone you would like to buy a gift for
  3. Determine before you go shopping what you would like to purchase for each individual and how much each gift will cost
  4. Set aside the amount you plan to spend on each person in separate envelopes
  5. Start looking for sales; don't forget you can get some great online deals
  6. Go shopping
After making your list, you may find that you don't have enough money to buy a gift for everyone. You could either reduce the amount you're spending on some of the other people on your list, or you can remove some people from your list. This is a hard one to do, but it will force you to be creative. I've had people make me gifts, I've even had someone cook me my favorite meal as a gift.
Let me know what some of your ideas are for Christmas shopping.