This page contains a Flash digital edition of a book.
BY DOREEN FRIEL NATIONAL RURAL ELECTRIC COOPERATIVE ASSOCIATION


T


he holidays are right around the corner, and if you’re like most people, travel and festivities can put quite a dent in your wallet. But it doesn’t have to be that way. With the right planning now, you can avoid paying for the holidays well into the new year.


Here are some smart moves to help control your expenses and keep you from racking up a lot of holiday-related debt:


Consider how you will get there. If you’re not celebrating locally, try to determine the most economical way to get to your destination. Can you drive, or is it essential that you fly? (If you have to transport three or more people, for instance, driving a distance of 6-8 hours or less might save a significant amount of money.) If you need to fly, consider purchasing your plane tickets as early as you can. Over the past few years, the longer flyers have waited, the more airline tickets have cost as the holidays approached.


Gifts, gifts, and more gifts. Let’s be honest: Do you overspend on gifts? Talk with your friends and family about doing less this year—perhaps with a group activity, such as a “Secret Santa,” where there’s a set budget and each person buys for just one other. Some families agree to buy only for children. Regardless, begin as far ahead of the holidays as possible so you can buy gifts gradually—and on sale—whenever possible. And paying


Holiday Hangover Avoid a Financial Smart planning can help you—and your finances— survive.


for your purchases in cash can help avoid staggering credit card bills (that only increase with their interest rate) after you’ve rung in the new year.


Begin as far ahead of the holidays as possible so you can buy gifts gradually—and on sale—whenever possible.


Consider when you’ll celebrate the holidays. It’s not for everyone, but some people actually celebrate the holidays at different times. You can save substantially on travel during off-peak times, and, if you buy gifts later, you could also take advantage of post-holiday sales.


Start thinking about next year. Following the same “plan ahead” theme, it’s not too early to think about the 2014 holidays. Setting aside just a few dollars a week—starting now—can help you save


the money you’ll need for next year.


Planning ahead for the holidays will help you make smart financial decisions: ones that may help you avoid a holiday hangover. For assistance in reaching any of your financial goals, you may wish to consult a financial professional. ■


Doreen Friel is a marketing communications consultant who produces employee benefits- related materials for the Communications Department of the National Rural Electric Cooperative Association, the Arlington, Va.-based service arm of the nation’s 900-plus consumer-


owned, not-for-profit electric cooperatives..


8 | november 2013


Page 1  |  Page 2  |  Page 3  |  Page 4  |  Page 5  |  Page 6  |  Page 7  |  Page 8  |  Page 9  |  Page 10  |  Page 11  |  Page 12  |  Page 13  |  Page 14  |  Page 15  |  Page 16  |  Page 17  |  Page 18  |  Page 19  |  Page 20  |  Page 21  |  Page 22  |  Page 23  |  Page 24  |  Page 25  |  Page 26  |  Page 27  |  Page 28  |  Page 29  |  Page 30  |  Page 31  |  Page 32  |  Page 33  |  Page 34  |  Page 35  |  Page 36  |  Page 37  |  Page 38  |  Page 39  |  Page 40  |  Page 41  |  Page 42  |  Page 43  |  Page 44  |  Page 45  |  Page 46  |  Page 47  |  Page 48  |  Page 49  |  Page 50  |  Page 51  |  Page 52  |  Page 53  |  Page 54  |  Page 55  |  Page 56  |  Page 57  |  Page 58  |  Page 59  |  Page 60  |  Page 61  |  Page 62  |  Page 63  |  Page 64  |  Page 65  |  Page 66  |  Page 67  |  Page 68  |  Page 69  |  Page 70  |  Page 71  |  Page 72  |  Page 73  |  Page 74  |  Page 75  |  Page 76  |  Page 77  |  Page 78  |  Page 79  |  Page 80  |  Page 81  |  Page 82  |  Page 83  |  Page 84  |  Page 85  |  Page 86  |  Page 87  |  Page 88  |  Page 89  |  Page 90  |  Page 91  |  Page 92  |  Page 93  |  Page 94  |  Page 95  |  Page 96  |  Page 97  |  Page 98  |  Page 99  |  Page 100  |  Page 101  |  Page 102  |  Page 103  |  Page 104  |  Page 105  |  Page 106  |  Page 107  |  Page 108  |  Page 109  |  Page 110  |  Page 111  |  Page 112  |  Page 113  |  Page 114  |  Page 115  |  Page 116  |  Page 117  |  Page 118  |  Page 119  |  Page 120  |  Page 121  |  Page 122  |  Page 123  |  Page 124  |  Page 125  |  Page 126  |  Page 127  |  Page 128  |  Page 129  |  Page 130  |  Page 131  |  Page 132  |  Page 133  |  Page 134  |  Page 135  |  Page 136  |  Page 137  |  Page 138  |  Page 139  |  Page 140  |  Page 141  |  Page 142  |  Page 143  |  Page 144  |  Page 145  |  Page 146  |  Page 147  |  Page 148  |  Page 149  |  Page 150  |  Page 151  |  Page 152  |  Page 153  |  Page 154