Make a list and check it twice.
Such phrase at this time of year is often associated with the song “Santa Claus is Coming to Town,” but it also rings true for those watching their wallet during the holidays.
Truckee Meadows Community College (TMCC) on Monday held a workshop geared toward helping students survive the holiday season. Topics ranged from alternatives to purchased gifts to time constraints.
TMCC’s Financial Literacy and Money Education by Students, known as FLAME$, conducted the event. It offers free workshops each semester on a variety of topics.
FLAME$ team lead Paige Richard suggested setting limits, whether it be a “Christmas club account” with a bank or credit union, shopping all year long or informing family and friends that one’s gift list is being revised. People should also avoid taking on too many responsibilities, such as cooking, party planning, or attending events, she said.
“If you absolutely can’t do something, just say ‘no’,” Richard said. “You can always be realistic.”
Avoid impulse buying and don’t shop without a list or budget, said FLAME$ team member Muhammad Uwais.
“If you have those two things, you’ll be set and you’ll be thanking yourself,” Uwais said.
Other cost-effective options mentioned for gifts include homemade items, photo albums, re-gifting presents one recently received, and creating gift baskets.
FLAME$ even set up a station for people to make their own cards and ornaments.
Keeping generic gifts are also a good idea in case an unexpected gift is received, they said. Things such as calendars, mugs, and candles are examples of generic gifts.
Richard and Uwais also advised students to keep receipts and to avoid buying unnecessary product warranties.
Lastly, if in need of extra money at any time of year, they said students should go to their bank or credit union and avoid “payday” and predatory lenders.