Podcast | Season 2 | Episode 03

The Description 

Are you feeling the pre-holiday frenzy? Fear not, because on the Reach your Summit podcast, we're serving up tried-and-true strategies for navigating the holiday season without the stress. I'm Jessica Magnuson, your guide through the tumultuous tides of budgeting, gift planning, and dealing with social pressures. Get ready to chart the course for your holiday spending with tips on creating a budget that considers not just gifts, but all the trimmings—decorations, food, and those cute Christmas pjs! 

Tune in as we unwrap gift ideas that are budget-friendly, and yet, bound to spark joy! 

Thanks for listening! Make sure to follow us on all the socials at @summitwealthgroup, so you don't miss an episode!

The Transcript 

Jessica

"What's up everyone? Welcome back to the Reach your Summit podcast, where we help you navigate the path to a better, more secure future. I'm your host, Jessica Magnuson, with Summit Wealth Group. I know it may seem a little bit early because we haven't even had Thanksgiving yet, but the holiday season is quickly approaching. I don't know about you, but I feel like as soon as October is here, there's Halloween, then we're into Thanksgiving. Who's cooking the turkey? Where are we going? Then, boom, christmas. The planning and the excitement into the holidays is in full force.

We have it. January hits and I'm like what just happened? That was a whirlwind of just so much going on for the last couple months. In order to maybe help you get ahead with the holiday frenzy this year, I'm going to be sharing some tips and tricks to think about when spending for this holiday season. The first thing, in order to rein in some of this Christmas chaos, is to create a budget for yourself of what you're going to be spending this year and I know that seems daunting and maybe kind of boring, but truly creating a budget and having in mind what you're going to be spending over the next month on gifts, food decorations, christmas pajamas, christmas Eve outfits, like all of those little things, is going to be key to not feeling like you're just going crazy and overspending for the whole month. I know, at least for me, when I think about creating like a Christmas budget and like, okay, yeah, who am I going to be buying gifts for? But we all know that so much more goes into this, into the holiday season and what we end up spending money on than just gifts.

So sit down, think about all of the different things that you're going to be doing, if they're going to be costing anything any Christmas activities, parties, things like that or if they're going to be, you know, free activities and how much you're willing and able to be spending on those things. Takes just a little bit of forethought ahead of time and it's going to save you so much money, headache time, everything over the course of this holiday season. Another big thing that will cause us to overspend during the holiday season is if we're not managing expectations and social pressure from our family and friends when it comes to gift giving or how elaborate a party is or anything kind of of that nature. So what I really encourage everyone to do is to communicate with your family and friends If you have a gift exchange that you know you do every year with your siblings or your college best friends, set a limit for that gift. Let people know how much you are going to be able to spend on a gift this year and just make that really clear. So there's no guessing.

We have all been in that situation where we buy a gift for somebody and they went way bigger for us, or vice versa, and it just feels awkward. So let's just eliminate that and have clear conversations about what our gift limits are. If you're going to be going to a party it's a potluck be clear about what you're going to be bringing. You know volunteer for this and this, because you know that that's going to be fitting into your budget, that you've planned for those sort of things. So now let's talk about some gifts and gift ideas in particular. I'm going to tell you right now that there is no one who wants to buy more things for the children in their life than me, right? My nieces and nephew and some of my friends' children. They are just so cute and I love them and I want to see them filled with joy opening their Christmas gifts. However, I would suggest that, along with having that budget is to plan out what you're going to be getting the people in your life and not just the children, but just anyone that's on your list that you're going to be buying for. Do a little bit of research beforehand. So say you are buying for children, research the things that are best or most popular for their age range, or you could even start maybe a list of things that you've heard them mention over the last couple months and going leading up to Christmas that they want from Santa or from their parents or whomever. So just take those things. Do a little bit of research on where those things are going to be on sale during the Christmas season. Recently and this is total side tangent I got a catalog in the mail from Amazon.

That was a Christmas catalog and my first thought was this is brilliant marketing, because if you are a millennial or Gen X in that age range, there is no one that does not remember getting the Toys R R Us Christmas catalog and sitting on the floor, going through the whole thing, picking out everything that you wanted Santa to bring you that year and telling it to your parents. And you know, immediately I got that Amazon catalog and I sat down and I looked through the entire thing because it's just like nostalgic and I was like man, this is so good their marketing team to be doing this right. So we know that, like especially kids, they're already talking about what they want Santa to bring them, what they want for Christmas. So just make a list of those things and do a little bit of research on which things are going to be the most affordable during the Christmas season. There are a lot of stores and websites that are going to advertise what they are having their sales on for Black Friday and Cyber Monday. So look on those websites, see if any of the things that the people in your life are asking for are going to be on sale, things that you know that they would just want. And this is also going to help with impulse buying, because if you know exactly what you're wanting to get someone and you know where it's going to be on sale, where you're going to be getting the best deal, then you don't have to worry about browsing through a store or through a website and just kind of getting random things impulse buying random stuff because you're not sure what to get someone and that definitely leads to overspending. So plan it out, see where you want to go for which things and where they're going to be the least expensive, and just know that's what you're getting and you don't have to worry about all the impulse buying here and there. Another thing to think about while you are planning out what you want to get people, maybe you don't want to go there out of a fiscal gift, which I think has been a bigger trend, definitely in the last few years. So just because most of the time especially kids getting like toys or things like that something is going to be used for maybe a year or two, then either something better is going to come out and someone's going to opt for that, or it's going to be pushed to the side using something else, newer technology.

All of these things kind of contribute to the short lifespan of some gifts that can be given right. So instead, a lot of people have opted to kind of give experiences as gift. This can be anywhere from as extravagant as like going on a trip somewhere that you're planning for that person or for maybe your family, like a group of people. It can be getting tickets to a concert that's happening this next year or to a game of someone's favorite sports team. Having those kind of things that are an experience instead of just a single item. Some of the smaller ones that I thought were really creative that I've heard of is people planning specific outings for throughout the next year. A lot of these are focused a little bit more towards children, but can be for anyone. So if grandparents are buying, you know, maybe an annual pass to the zoo or to the aquarium or something like that for their grandkids to take them throughout the next year, or taking them to a water park or a theme park or something during the summer next year when they're out of school, so buying those kinds of things that are an experience rather than just something that they're going to use for a little while and get tired of or find something better, and then they'll always have those memories of when their parents or their grandparents or aunts, uncles, friends, whoever took you to go do something. So I think that is a really unique idea of trying to move towards that instead of so much items. Another thing to think about with this that I recently found out about is we all know that Black Friday has been a thing forever, and now there's Small Business Saturday, and then we have Cyber Monday and this is actually the first year that I've heard of this, but maybe I'm just behind but it's called Travel Tuesday.

So this is going to be happening the Tuesday after Thanksgiving, on November 28th, where there will apparently be huge discounts for airline travel. So maybe you just want to skip the stress of, you know, planning out gifts and things like that altogether and just take your family on a trip during Christmas or plan something for someone in 2024. And that is, you know, the gift that they're going to be getting at Christmas. So this could potentially save a lot of money if that's something you already had in mind. So just remember, tuesday, november 28th, is going to be Travel Tuesday, and there could potentially be a lot of savings that you can find on planning a trip. And the last thing that I will say about gifts and gift ideas is to take advantage of the creators on Pinterest, instagram and TikTok, who have their entire platforms devoted to providing DIY ideas, and what I have found for you know these DIY creators is you don't have to be super crafty per se, but there are thousands of options for just about every person in your life, of something that you can make them that they either want or need, and it can be very, very budget friendly and easy to make. So this part doesn't just pertain to gifts either. It can be decorations, food, drinks anything that you are typically buying for the holiday season that is only going to be for this season. You can make a lot of really cool stuff and get some really, really good ideas. So definitely check those social media platforms and do some research on them, because there are so many ideas and things that are so, so simple you would never think of on your own, and they can make the very best gifts for people.

Lastly, I think something that you can do that is a sure way to kind of help us all reflect on our own lives and how blessed we are to have, you know, the friends, the family, the things that we have in our lives, is to get out and do something in your community or volunteer something along those lines, so that you are helping other people during this season. Maybe that becomes something that's like a Christmas or holiday tradition for your families to give back to those that may be less fortunate than you, and I know personally that something like this always puts all the kind of Christmas extravagance and commercialism really into perspective and helps me focus back on what the true spirit of Christmas and the holiday season is really about. I would encourage you just to think outside of the box this year on some of the ways that you can create new traditions and new memories and also be reaching out and caring well for other people.

All right, everyone, This wraps up this episode of the Reach your Summit podcast. Thank you so much for listening and being here with me. We'll see you back next week with another episode with our advisor, Josh Oller, talking more on our college savings and planning series. So we'll see you back next week.

Thanks for listening to the Reach your Summit podcast brought to you by Summit Wealth Group. If you enjoyed this episode and would like to help support the podcast, please share it with others and subscribe so you don't miss an episode. If you have any questions or topics that you'd like us to cover, please email us at info@summitwealthgroup.com ."