Christmas Spending Holiday Budget Joy Giving  Gift

spending season

The change of seasons is something I look forward to each year, though admittedly it’s subtle in San Diego. Still, the cooler temperatures and early nights make me want to eat comfort foods and enjoy a dark beer. That said, there can be too much of a good thing and that is why I’m trying (and losing the battle) to stave off Christmas movies in my family until after Thanksgiving. All of the excitement, especially in children, can make it hard to say no. Retailers try to capitalize on the weakness and temptation to say yes during the holidays, and it seems to be working as holiday sales surpassed $1 trillion dollars last year. If we aren’t careful, the magic that comes with the holidays can actually suck the joy from us shortly thereafter. According to LendEdu, nearly a quarter of Americans will go into debt at Christmas and a survey by Principal Financial Group revealed that 53 percent of people feel financially stressed by holiday spending. Here are a few tips to keep the joy and avoid stress: Start saving for Christmas in January – Set a budget for Christmas, save for it throughout the year and stick to it when the time arrives. It feels much better to spend money you’ve already given yourself permission to spend.Avoid the Costco curse – This isn’t an official thing, but I’ve fallen victim to it myself. It’s the idea that I had no idea I needed something, or that it even existed, until I go to Costco and now I have to have it, and it’s a good deal! You could also call this impulse buying and it can happen anywhere.Take advantage of sales, but don’t be taken advantage of by them – I can’t even keep track of all the “special” sale days there are now, Black Friday, Cyber Monday, etc. With a little research, this can be a good time to make purchases as long as they’re planned for, and maybe not only for Christmas gifts. For example, my wife is overdue for a new phone. Since I was planning to buy her one within the next few months and we have the money earmarked, why not get a $200-$300 gift card for Target or Walmart by buying it at this time? That money can go towards our Christmas budget. I hope the tips above help you truly experience the joy of gift-giving, without lingering negative effects. Of course, the most important thing to remember is that the magic of the season comes from sharing moments with those you love and celebrating the birth of the Prince of Peace.   Advisory services offered through Arbor Point Advisors. Securities offered through Securities America Inc., Member FINRA/SIPC. Arbor Point and Securities America are separate companies. CA Insurance #0E88557

Q3 2019 Market review

 In this most recent quarter, stocks had mixed results but remained relatively flat. The US stock market was up 1.16% and international stocks lost 0.93%. Global real estate had stronger returns of 5.72% while emerging markets dropped 4.25%. Bonds both domestically and internationally continued their steady rally with each up over 2%. For a detailed Market Overview, click here. Planning note: Medicare open enrollment begins this week on October 15th and runs through December 7th. As a quick overview, Medicare is the primary healthcare system in the US for people age 65 and older. There are different plans available and I recommend consulting with a Medicare expert to decide what plan is right for you. In most cases, signing up for at least Part A, which provides hospital coverage and is free for most people, is recommended at age 65. If you delay signing up for Medicare, your costs may go up in the future. If you want more information regarding Medicare or would like to speak with an expert to review your plan, contact me and I’d be happy to provide additional resources and contacts.   Advisory services offered through Arbor Point Advisors. Securities offered through Securities America Inc., Member FINRA/SIPC. Arbor Point and Securities America are separate companies. CA Insurance #0E88557

knowing where your money's going

 When people think of financial planning they often think of planning for their retirement, investing their money, learning about strategies to save on taxes, etc. These are great topics that I enjoy helping people with, but one of the most important topics is often one of the most overlooked, budgeting. It is important to know how much money you spend and where it is going. There are many variables in financial planning of which we have little or limited control over, such as how the stock market performs, tax rates, how long we’ll live and others. One area we have more control over is where we spend our money, so it needs to be done responsibly. We’re all familiar with stories of lottery winners or professional athletes who go broke. In their case, it wasn’t a lack of income but a lack of controlled spending. Below is an example of a pretty typical conversation in my office: Me: As part of financial planning it’s important to understand how much money you spend, and I’d like to evaluate your expenses. To get started, do you have an idea of how much you spend in an average month? Client: Um, I’m really not sure, but it’s probably about X each month. We continue the conversation and I provide details on how to obtain this information. After a week or two and doing some digging: Client: So, we were a little off. You know that number we gave you, we should probably DOUBLE IT. It’s amazing how quickly expenses add up. In retirement some things will be different, you likely won’t be saving towards retirement any longer, you may be in a lower tax bracket, if you receive Social Security some of it won’t be taxable, your health insurance and medical expenses will likely be different, you may want to budget extra travel, etc. For this reason, looking at current expenses as well as future expenses is necessary. Most people really don’t like the idea of living according to a budget, and I’m not saying that everyone must keep track of every penny. If you’ve demonstrated that you can live within your means and save for future needs, you don’t need to track every dollar. However, if you feel financial stress, your next paycheck can’t come soon enough, you carry ongoing credit card debt or you feel like you don’t have control over your money, a budget is probably the best thing you can do to improve your financial picture. It may tell you that you must make some tough decisions such as cutting back on things you like doing, or you may need to earn more income to sustain your lifestyle and meet your goals. Either way, this information will be helpful to you. It may seem painful to sacrifice certain items, but it is less painful than not accomplishing your goals and living with regret. If you’d like some resources to get started on putting together a budget, email me at advisor@blakegallion.com.  Advisory services offered through Arbor Point Advisors. Securities offered through Securities America Inc., Member FINRA/SIPC. Arbor Point and Securities America are separate companies. CA Insurance #0E88557

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Retirement Planner in San Diego

 

Advisory services offered through Arbor Point Advisors. Securities offered through Securities America, Inc., Member FINRA/SIPC. Arbor Point Advisors and Securities America are separate companies. This site is published for residents of the United States and is for informational purposes only and does not constitute an offer to sell or solicitation of an offer to buy any security or product that may be referenced herein. Persons mentioned on this website may only offer services and transact business and/or respond to inquiries in states or jurisdictions in which they have been properly registered or are exempt from registration. Not all products and services referenced on this site are available in every state, jurisdiction or from every person listed. CA Insurance #0E88557

Advisory services offered through Arbor Point Advisors. Securities offered through Securities America, Inc., Member FINRA/SIPC. Arbor Point Advisors and Securities America are separate companies. This site is published for residents of the United States and is for informational purposes only and does not constitute an offer to sell or solicitation of an offer to buy any security or product that may be referenced herein. Persons mentioned on this website may only offer services and transact business and/or respond to inquiries in states or jurisdictions in which they have been properly registered or are exempt from registration. Not all products and services referenced on this site are available in every state, jurisdiction or from every person listed. CA Insurance #0E88557​

Rancho Bernardo Financial Planner