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As the holidays creep closer, so does the financial hangover that hits after the holiday spending spree. Taking a proactive approach to your spending- and saving, can be key to avoiding the pressure to get things back in order in the new year.

Plan your holiday spending in advance by making a budget.

Make sure you know how much you can actually afford to spend on holiday parties, transportation costs to get home and gifts for loved ones. Without a solid understanding of what you have to work with, you could be setting yourself up for overspending without even realizing it. Decide where your priorities are. Consider dealing with other, more important costs first and then budgeting what you have left for the holidays. For example, instead of staying in a fancy hotel for the holidays, think about planning to stay with family and putting the money you are saving towards a lump sum payment on your mortgage. Next, start setting the money you have allocated for the holidays aside so that it doesn’t get spent on other things that are less important to you in the meantime.

If you feel like things are feeling a little tight, try rethinking the way you give.

Make plans with friends and family to set a price limit that is affordable for everyone. You can even organize a Secret Santa with a group of people. Not only is getting together for the exchange lots of fun, you only need to purchase one meaningful gift, all while spending less and skipping the laps around the mall. Offering experiences as gifts are another great way to spend money and can be just as thoughtful as an object purchased from a store. Create an itinerary with wallet-friendly stops like boardgame cafes or bike rides that will offer great memories without the hefty bill.

Use your mortgage to keep you on track. 

 If you already feel like the temptation to spend for the holidays is creeping in, take the time to set money to the side before you hit the mall or, maybe the most deadly place of them all, Amazon. For many, their mortgage(s) is often one of the most significant financial elements in their financial portfolio. It can be where you hold the most equity, but also where you may feel the most financial burden. Take the time now to set yourself up for financial success in the new year by using your mortgage as the key to get there. Take some of the money you may have saved up over the year and put it into a lump sum mortgage payment that. This not only gets you closer to being mortgage-free, it also helps you put away your money in a safe place where it can’t be spent. If you know you will have additional costs this holiday season that cannot be reduced or avoided, make sure you are managing your debt properly so that you feel as little financial strain as possible after the holidays. Look at where you are carrying debt and consider talking to a mortgage broker about consolidating debt into either a second mortgage or a Home Equity Line of Credit. Both these options have significantly lower interest rates than other types of payments (ex: credit card debt) and allow you to have just one regular payment, allowing for much easier budgeting.

Make sure you enjoy the holidays, and the days following, by making sure you and your mortgage is financially prepared. Now is the perfect time to get started and more information and strategies are just a phone call away. Contact Tim today.

Use your mortgage to keep you on track.

Your unique situation merits a unique answer. If your mortgage is up for renewal soon, please get in contact with your mortgage broker and begin discussing your options.