Financial analyst gives holiday spending tips

With Christmas just six weeks away,  many persons are hoping to exchange gifts, renovate their homes, and simply indulge a little as they celebrate the season. And in an effort to ensure that the season is not only merry but also stress-free – especially after the festivities come to an end –  Financial Analyst Ava Smith gave her best tips and tricks to Eyewitness News on Wednesday.

“In my opinion, I believe the minimum amount that anyone should have dedicated to the holiday season is $1,500,” said Smith in an exclusive interview with Eyewitness News.

“The holiday season is not just about buying gifts, but it includes a lot of gatherings and outings, and you have to make sure the house is stocked with alcohol; you have to make sure that decorations are in place, and $1,500 allows for a good cushion. If you don’t spend it all you can always save it towards another financial goal.”

According to Smith, Bahamians have become so accustomed to focusing on quantity during the Christmas season rather than quality.

“The reality is if you spend $500 on a gift then it doesn’t mean it will be any more special than a $50 gift,” she said.

“The holiday season is the same time every year, there’s no surprise so ideally, you should be saving from the beginning of the year and if you haven’t done that then you can use September as a benchmark to start saving aggressively because at that point summer time is done and kids are back from school.”

Financial expert and consultant for Colina Financial Advisors Limited (CFAL) James Smith also noted the top things to consider when budgeting for the holidays.

“Look very closely at the items that are for sale. You don’t want to buy everything in one store.  Compare different stores because you’ll find that the same item has different prices. Don’t be carried away by what the next guy is doing because keeping up with the jones can be very expensive,” Smith said.

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