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News > Feature - Holiday budgeting: the 411
Holiday budgeting: the 411

Posted 12/11/2012   Updated 12/18/2012 Email story   Print story

    


by Airman 1st Class Kathryn Stilwell
436th Airlift Wing Public Affairs


12/11/2012 - DOVER AIR FORCE BASE, Del. -- Some people tackle the challenge of budgeting as part of their New Year's resolution, while others resolve to mind their finances only during the holiday season where spending may prove sporadic. The holidays can produce stress and anxiety when it comes to shopping, but it doesn't have to. There are several ways to avoid the stress with a little pre-planning.

People fail to budget for a variety of reasons, but Jennifer Aubrey, a community readiness consultant with the 436th Force Support Squadron, attributes it to a simple lack of know-how.

"Some people shy away from budgeting because they aren't taught how to budget. I think that we live in an immediate-gratification society, and some people are in denial, they stick their head in the sand. But money is pretty important when it comes to our everyday survival," said Aubrey.

The lack of know-how can be remedied by taking steps to make smart purchases. Aubrey even suggests several methods to save on spending.

"People can purchase one present a month from January through December. They could cover 12 people that way by just by incorporating gifts into their monthly budget."

She also proposes: looking for bargains such as coupons, setting spending limits, subscribing to frequented retailers, doing comparison shopping, and always asking for military discounts when shopping.

"Another way would be to set money aside every month. Some financial institutions have holiday accounts, so they allot a certain amount into the holiday account and then get a disbursement in the late fall they can use to purchase Christmas gifts," said Aubrey.

She also suggests considering some details that are often overlooked.

"Sometimes things come up during the holiday [season] that we don't really take into consideration, like how much it costs to entertain, the decorations you have to buy, or the cost of traveling," said Aubrey.

Sticking to a budget can be managed by using consideration when purchasing and thinking ahead before shopping. Airmen at Dover Air Force Base, Del., can utilize free programs to help them design and handle their own budgets.

"People can come to one of our monthly budgeting classes [to learn more]. They can also come in and do a one-on-one budgeting appointments with us," said Aubrey.

Following these steps will help prevent financial stress during the holidays, and allow Airmen to concentrate on enjoying themselves.

For more information on budgeting classes at the Airman & Family Readiness Center, call (302) 677-6930.



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