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Andrew K. Johnson
Communications Manager/GreenPath Financial Wellness
(248) 488-0419
mediarelations@greenpath.org

Build Memories Into Your Holiday Budget and Save this Shopping Season


GreenPath Financial Wellness Shares Five Budgeting and Gift-Giving Tips

(FORT COLLINS, CO – December 10, 2013) Christmas is only a few weeks away and GreenPath Financial Wellness, a nationwide, non-profit credit counseling and education organization, wants to remind consumers that, amongst all the gift-giving, they should make memories a big part of their holiday season.

“First, remember what the season really means to you and your family,” said Sara Gilbert, GreenPath counselor. “If you think of your fondest holiday memories, many probably do not involve gifts.”  She went on to explain that the best memories may be decorating the tree, baking cookies, church events, and time spent with family or friends.

However, Gilbert said traditions will continue and gifts will be under the tree this year. Therefore, she shares five tips that can help save your way to a great holiday.

“Decorating, baking, and entertaining can be expensive, but with a plan, there are ways to keep these expenses in check,” said Gilbert.

1 Break down the holiday into different budgets.  Think of the different parts of the holiday: Decorating, cooking and baking, transportation, lodging and gifts. Then, build a budget for each category to help you see how much money is needed. Ask the questions: How much do you have available to spend? Can you cut back on other items in your home budget in the New Year to free up dollars for your holiday purchases now? 

2. Look for quick ways to save. If you haven’t been the greatest saver, or this has been a rough financial year at your house, look for ways to trim gas, grocery, and other daily spending needs in the coming weeks.

3. Set a limit on the amount you will spend for each person on your Christmas list.  Some families decide to purchase gifts for the youngsters in the family, and set a limit or forgo gift giving for adults or extended family.  “Maybe this is a good year for your family to draw names or conduct a white elephant gift exchange instead of purchasing so many gifts,” said Gilbert.  “This keeps up the tradition of holiday gift giving without draining your financial resources.”   What creative talents do you have?  You still probably have time to make some creative and inexpensive presents for the people on your list.

4. Use what you can from previous year’s decorations and avoid buying new holiday trappings.    If you have family or friends in the area, you might consider sharing or trading some of your decorations so you each can have some ‘new’ holiday decorations.

5. Giving cherished heirlooms might be a great way to say “I love you.”  You may have family items that have been passed down to you, or pieces of jewelry that you could give to family and friends, instead of purchasing gifts.

A bit of creative thinking now, along with a holiday spending plan, can help you keep your season more about the celebration and less about spending money.

For more information, log on to www.greenpath.org or call (866) 648-8122.

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GreenPath Financial Wellness is a nationwide, non-profit financial organization that assists consumers with credit card debt, housing debt and bankruptcy concerns. Their customized services and attainable solutions have been helping people achieve their financial goals since 1961. Headquartered in Farmington Hills, Michigan, GreenPath operates 50 branch offices in Michigan, New York, New Hampshire, Colorado, Florida, Texas, Illinois, Indiana, Wisconsin, Arizona and Wyoming. GreenPath also delivers licensed services throughout the United States over the Internet and telephone. GreenPath is a member of the National Foundation for Credit Counseling (NFCC) and is accredited by the Council on Accreditation (COA). For more information, visit www.greenpath.org.