For many, November and December are months of transition and tradition. In the United States, the clocks roll back for Daylight Saving Time, moving us into brighter mornings and twilight commutes. Soon after, families are setting the table and trying new ways to cook up a Thanksgiving turkey. And yet the meal is often upstaged by the fact that Thanksgiving also heralds the unofficial start of the holiday season and, with it, the often frenzied approach to gift buying.
Understandably, in this post-pandemic world, our 2021 holidays may continue to look a bit different than in years past. Black Friday, the quintessential shopping day for bargains and bulk buys, was scaled back as retailers direct shoppers online to quell crowds. And yet 33% of shoppers planned to head to the stores in 2021.
Within the context of rising inflation figures (5.4% in the past 12 months according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics), an unemployment rate of 4.8%, and anticipated Social Security benefit depletion projected by 2034, financial literacy and saving can be critical skills. For spending tips while keeping a festive flair, U.S. Money Reserve has shared several ideas that could help guide holiday gift planning and conversations.
U.S. Money Reserve Shares Ways to Prepare for Holiday Spending
Everyone’s personal finances are unique, and so are their spending habits. What’s more common is the general desire to spread happiness during the holidays through gift giving and holiday gatherings. In 2020, U.S. Money Reserve took a closer look at how shoppers could approach their spending to balance fun and financial prudence. These tips remain helpful as we approach the holiday season and the temptation to spend on holiday sales events and beyond.
- Budget: Before you take out one dollar (or credit card), evaluate the state of your personal finances. For some, there can be a gap between what is affordable now and what they would like to spend. Shoppers can avoid debt (and soaring credit card interest rates) by spending only based on an established budget using funds on hand.
- Value: Consider gifts that are designed to last instead of trendy or consumable products. What qualifies will depend on who you are giving to, but popular ideas include photo gifts, experiences, or keepsakes. Dedicated funds in the form of bonds, stocks, or precious metals may also make for excellent gifts that have long-term staying power.
- Save: Using the holidays as a time to gather (in person or on yet another Zoom call) and share time together may be a far greater gift experience than costly physical gifts. Consider saving those funds for a rainy day instead.
- Reflect: Once the gifts are wrapped, look back on what you spent compared to your budget. How did you do with your goals? How much do you have left to set aside for your other financial goals like retirement and savings? This is a great time to prepare for the new year and refresh your financial literacy.
Festivity and Financial Literacy: Mindful Spending During the Holidays
Reflecting on your finances is one thing. But understanding how you can put your money to work for you once you manage to save some rather than overspend on gift buying is another matter. To help with this, U.S. Money Reserve notes a few ways you can approach the money you keep aside from your holiday spending.
Setting up a savings account can certainly be a start if you don’t have one already. Separating your funds this way so they are not all quite as easily accessible in a checking account can help give you pause before hitting the shops or clicking a “Buy Now” button. But diversification can also be important. This means spreading funds across different assets, which can help increase upside potential while also reduce potential risk. Some examples for diversification in a portfolio include using a blend of equities, cash, precious metals, income, and real estate. Everyone’s financial situation is unique, and it’s up to the individual to make those choices that best suit their long-term goals.
An emergency fund can also be incredibly helpful. This can be separate from an actual savings account to give you a dedicated place to hold assets for when times get tough. From unemployment to storm damage or an unexpected illness, the strain of an added expense you simply can’t afford can help be alleviated with an emergency fund.
Individuals can also consider diversifying their portfolios with precious metals. Precious metals “can be a good way to skirt artificial inflation triggered by speculators and to provide a hedge against market losses,” U.S. Money Reserve shares.
Financial literacy is also a gift you can give others. Families can have conversations around healthy spending and saving habits, helping children to learn at a young age. Parents and caregivers can also share their feelings or reasoning behind reduced spending on presents and help instill the concepts of budgeting and value gifting within kids.
Gifting tangible assets like gold can help demonstrate these skills in action while also helping to establish a strong financial future for the recipient, giving them a present with lasting impact. Purchasing precious metals like physical bullion can be a starting point for children (and adults) to learn about diversified assets. A precious metals IRA can hold physical gold, silver, platinum, or palladium and can serve as a retirement account. Older children with summer jobs or limited income can even open a precious metals IRA with a custodial cosigner and make contributions, helping them learn about the importance of both financial literacy and the power of tangible assets like gold and silver for years to come.
About U.S. Money Reserve, America’s Gold Authority®
U.S. Money Reserve is one of the nation’s largest private distributors of government-issued gold, silver, platinum, and palladium products.
Founded in 2001, U.S. Money Reserve has grown into one of the world’s largest private distributors of U.S. and foreign government–issued gold, silver, platinum, and palladium legal-tender products. Hundreds of thousands of clients across the country rely on U.S. Money Reserve to diversify their assets with physical precious metals, primarily in the form of legal-tender gold and silver coins.
U.S. Money Reserve’s uniquely trained team includes coin research and numismatic professionals equipped with the market knowledge to find products for precious metals buyers at every level. U.S. Money Reserve goes above the industry standard to provide superior customer service, with the goal of establishing a long-term relationship with each and every one of its customers. U.S. Money Reserve is based in Austin, Texas. Like them on Facebook, connect on LinkedIn, and follow on Twitter.