TFNB’s Guide to the Holidays: How to Spend Savvier, Save Smarter, and Bring Joy This Season

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Ardent Authors Photo

Jason Lavender

Ardent Authors Photo

Jason Lavender

Jason Lavender

Jason Lavender

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So it’s that time of the year again. Temperatures are dropping, kids are frolicking in the snow, and people are gathering in front of the fireplace with a hot cup of cocoa.

While the holidays are wonderful, they can also be stressful. You’ve got to worry about finding the perfect gifts for loved ones, managing your finances, and juggling all of the other holiday chaos.

Don’t worry. In this guide, we’ll show you all the ways you can spend savvier, save smarter, and give back in meaningful ways this holiday season. 

Don't Wait Last Minute to Start Your Holiday Shopping

Every year, right after we dress up in our Halloween costumes and cut the turkey on Thanksgiving, the holiday shopping season kicks into high gear. But, if you want a stocking-stuffed and present-filled Christmas this season, you’ll want to start shopping now.

A number of factors are coming together that will make gift giving harder this year, especially for those of us prone to last-minute shopping. Worker shortages, pandemic shutdowns, higher demand, and supply chain issues are delaying the shipment of goods to households and stores around the United States.

Retail experts are saying certain toys, electronics, and apparel that your loved ones put on their wish list might not arrive in time for the holidays.

So, if you want to make sure everyone on the nice list finds something under the tree, give yourself time and do your shopping early.

Watch Out For Holiday Scams

The holidays are upon us. What should be the most wonderful time of the year is, sadly, also the season for scams.

There are many ways scammers will target you—from emails containing malicious links to fake online ads offering the hottest gifts of the season at an unbelievable price.

Don’t let fraudsters turn your holiday glee into gloom. Arm yourself with this practical advice to avoid scams that pop up during the holiday season.

  • Avoid sites or ads offering items at unrealistic discounts.
  • Although it’s convenient, don’t store your payment details when purchasing items online.
  • Don’t click on any links you are unsure about.
  • If you have doubts, hover over the link to see what URL comes up. If it’s a straightforward URL, especially from a recognizable brand, it’s probably okay. If it’s a long string of random characters, run away.
  • Actively monitor your checking account during the holiday season and activate real-time mobile alerts with your bank to receive a text message every time your credit card is used. This will help you stay one step ahead of any suspicious charges.

Give Kids the Gift of Savings

The kids in my family usually ask for a bunch of stuff for the holidays. This usually turns into untouched half-finished Lego projects and forgotten toys that end up in the back of the closet to collect dust.

Looking for a more meaningful gift that adds real value to their lives? Consider giving the younger ones in your family the gift of savings. Opening up a checking account and giving it to a young person is a great gift that serves as an investment for their future.

This checking account can also serve as a tool to teach children of all ages the importance of financial literacy, as they learn how to save, budget, and watch their account grow.

Find a Way to Give Back During the Holidays

Giving is the reason for the season. While we tend to get caught up in the hustle and bustle of shopping for friends and family, it’s important to remember that there are tons of incredible charities that also need some love.

This year, consider giving back to a local community organization or nonprofit with a cause that’s near and dear to your heart. Whether you’re looking to support a no-kill animal shelter, help fund art programs or donate to a food bank, there are plenty of ways to offer your support.

Or, if you are interested in a national organization, Charitynavigator.org is a good resource.

Connect on a Personal Level This Year

The COVID-19 pandemic drastically changed how we celebrated holiday festivities in 2020 and forced us to use technology to connect. Holiday gatherings turned into holiday Zoom calls as we tried to find a balance between celebrating with loved ones and staying safe.

While technology kept us virtually in touch, there’s nothing that can replace human connection and being surrounded by friends and family you love.

It’s been a long year, and we all have a lot of catching up to do. So this holiday season, make sure to get offline so you can focus on quality time with loved ones.

Bake some holiday treats with your family, put up Christmas decorations together, and bust out the board games during your celebration.

If you can’t spend time in person with family and friends, send them a holiday card, write them a letter, or give them a call to let them know you’re thinking of them. It will leave a bigger and more lasting impact than a text or tweet ever could. 

Happy Holidays From TFNB

We hope this advice helps you take the stress away from the holiday season so you can focus on what matters: spending time with loved ones and connecting with your community.

From everyone at TFNB, we’d like to wish you a happy and safe holiday season, and for an even better 2022! 

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