A Few (Financial) Christmas Tips:

Can’t buy me love: That’s the title of a Beatles song, but so many grandparents attempt to do that with their over the top Christmas spending on grandkids. Kids on average play with their new toy for 20 minutes…then revert back to their current favourites. So you’d just be buying 20 minutes and you’re in competition with other gifts anyway.

Try spending less, but better, and test the 20-minute theory: Buy or get a BIG box (at least 4 or 5 feet square) and put their gift inside that massive box. Then time it: What do they play with and how long….you’ll see that it’s likely days with the box, versus minutes for the gift and that the box will get used for building a fort, or a ton of other creative and fun things for something you got for free, or cost you three bucks tops!

Don’t be selfish: Christmas isn’t about you gifting yourself. Commit to buying for yourself only after your January credit card statement. That way you’ve given yourself a short ‘time-out,’ and get to see the balance on your first post Christmas credit card. News flash: The average person underestimates their credit card spending by 20%. The day after you see you December statement, you can go nuts for yourself…but I’m betting you won’t….

Avoid Boxing Day shopping: Electronics on sale that day will have the Boxing day price as the regular price within months. Other things like clothing, shoes, etc. will also be on sale the entire month of January when retail sales are pretty dead. And do you really want to line up for an hour to save two bucks on wrapping paper? Sorry – that won’t change your financial life. Stay home, enjoy your family time, and not the line-up time. Boxing day stress just drains the Christmas spirit out of you in a hurry…

If you’re an adult kid over 18 and not living at home: Your parents do NOT want your PRESENTS that you likely can’t afford anyway. They want your PRESENCE. Believe me when I tell you that your presence, that quality time with your parents, is the best gift and at an affordable price if you get your priorities straight.

Merry Christmas!!

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