Have the holidays become a financial black hole? - Ahwatukee Foothills News: Money

default avatar
Welcome to the site! Login or Signup below.
|
||
Logout|My Dashboard

Have the holidays become a financial black hole?

Print
Font Size:
Default font size
Larger font size

Denise Aguilar

Related Stories

Posted: Thursday, January 5, 2012 4:00 pm

How does it happen every year? You go from being OK with just sending out Christmas cards and baking goodies for your loved ones, to buying a gift for what seems like everyone you know.

Whatever the reason - running out of time to bake, feeling obligated because someone else gave you a gift, or just getting caught up in the festive atmosphere, it seems to happen every year, and it adds up.

If you're like me, you host Christmas dinner and go all out with a turkey, pies, and all the sides to go along. You start out with a few gifts under the tree, but end up with mountains of presents for your kids, family, friends, coworkers, neighbors ... the list goes on!

Unfortunately, all the good feelings you get while enjoying Christmas dinner with your loved ones, and watching the kids' eyes light up while opening those special gifts, can turn to heartburn when you look at your bank statement at the end of the month. It's similar to the feeling you get when you look down at the scale after the holidays.

I wish I had the solution to this problem. I can say it all I want - make a budget, stick to it, make Christmas dinner a potluck, don't feel obligated to spend money on everybody, a small token of appreciation gets the thought across ... but I have to be realistic here.

It is almost impossible to stick to a budget during the holidays. So, let's just do what we can given that fact and plan to be more financially aware during the non-holiday months.

After the new year is a great time to take a close look at finances from the year before. Buy an inexpensive bookkeeping software program and import your bank statements into the software. Categorize your spending and see the eye-opening results.

For my family, eating out is always the biggest money pit. For others I know it is shopping. It could be traveling, gambling, the cost of cigarettes, going out to bars, it may even be helping others.

It's not to say you have to completely cut out the activities you enjoy, but it can be a wake-up call to pay more attention to just how much money is thrown toward things that don't always give us a great return on investment.

It's all about making educated decisions as opposed to spending on impulse. We're all guilty of it, and I can tell you my family will never stop trying new restaurants or visiting our favorites.

But we can make a plan to eat out only when we want to do just that - try something new or visit a favorite. We can avoid eating out just because it's convenient. We can make sure there are groceries in the fridge and make enough to have leftovers, which are even more convenient.

You get the idea.

Now, on to the new year!

• Ahwatukee Foothills resident Denise K. Aguilar is a local attorney whose bankruptcy practice focuses in consumer and small business bankruptcy. Reach her at (480) 455-1881 or visit www.aguilarlawonline.com for more information on the Aguilar Law Firm, P.C.

More about

More about

More about

  • Discuss

Gov. Brown Appoints New Public Utility Commissioners to Replace Florio and Sandoval

Martha Guzman Aceves and Clifford Rechtschaffen both come from the governor’s office with strong environmental protection backgrounds. Martha …

Published: December 31, 2016 - 10:14 am @ https://www.greentechmedia.com/articles/read/gov.-…

Kerry’s Blunt Words for Israel Denounced by Lawmakers in Both Parties

A bipartisan chorus of lawmakers, upset with President Obama’s decision last week to allow the passage of a United Nations resolution condemni…

Published: December 31, 2016 - 10:14 am @ http://www.nytimes.com/2016/12/28/us/politics/john…

Obama preparing to penalize Russia for hacking

WASHINGTON — The Obama administration is preparing to penalize Russia over the hacking of Democratic officials during this year's presidential…

Published: December 31, 2016 - 10:16 am @ http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/politics/2016/1…

Mail truck tips on Mesa street

MESA, Ariz. - A mail truck ended up on its side in a crash Wednesday. Mesa police say a single-vehicle collision left the United States Postal…

Published: December 31, 2016 - 10:12 am @ http://www.12news.com/news/local/valley/mail-truck…

Reports of mall disturbances light up social media

A flurry of reports of mall melees and disturbances rippled across social media Monday on a day Americans swarmed shopping hubs for post-holid…

Published: December 31, 2016 - 9:51 am @ http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/nation/2016/12/…

Graham, McCain want Russia sanctions after election hacking

Top Republican senators said Wednesday that the incoming Congress and President-elect Donald Trump should impose new and tougher sanctions on …

Published: December 31, 2016 - 9:13 am @ http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2016/12/28/graham-…

Immigration Is the Only Hope for States That Helped Trump

The decline of manufacturing does not explain the decline of Wisconsin. Photographer: Daniel Acker/BloombergFacebook Twitter Email Print Share…

Published: December 31, 2016 - 7:17 am @ https://www.bloomberg.com/view/articles/2016-12-28…

Creator of the Red Solo Cup dies at 84

FOX 32 NEWS - The creator of the Red Solo Cup died on Wednesday, December 21, 2016 at the age of 84. Robert Leo Hulseman lived in Northfield, …

Published: December 31, 2016 - 7:07 am @ http://www.fox4news.com/trending/225996868-story

12 Cars You Can Legally Import to the US in 2017

slide-4320347 There were plenty of great vehicles produced abroad that Americans (outside of Canada) haven't been able to import until they hi…

Published: December 31, 2016 - 7:06 am @ http://www.autoblog.com/photos/cars-you-can-legall…

Raw sewage bubbles out of ground, Mesa apartment residents fed up

MESA, AZ - People who live at one apartment complex in Mesa said they have a problem that stinks — raw sewage bubbling up out of the ground an…

Published: December 31, 2016 - 6:35 am @ http://www.abc15.com/news/region-southeast-valley/…

Facebook

ahwatukee.com on Facebook

Twitter

ahwatukee.com on Twitter

RSS

Subscribe to ahwatukee.com via RSS

RSS Feeds

Spacer4px

Most Popular

Online poll

Loading…