How To Use Your Finances To Bring Holiday Cheer

Ferrone & Associates CPAsBlog

As the holidays approach there are a variety of thoughts and emotions that may come up. Discussing financial achievements this holiday season can bring some comfort and cheer. The end of the year is a great time to reflect, express gratitude and set future intentions. The holidays can be a quick way to spend a lot of money in a short amount of time. Black Friday and Cyber Monday on top of countless other sales at this time can be tempting. However, focusing on your short term and long term financial goals can help you remain disciplined. Sharing your plans with friends and family can bring a source of accountability and encouragement. 


The holidays may not be joyous for everyone, as stress and anxiety may increase. Remember to surround yourself with people who make you feel loved and supported. The Pew Research Center reported that 53% of Americans’ claim their finances have improved in the past year. Staying a float this year is even something worth celebrating. As you gather with loved ones, discussing financial wins can be the motivation everyone needs to start the new year. 


Practicing altruism is another way to bring holiday cheer. Not only does this fill your heart it can also fill your pockets. Charitable donations can be used as deductions on your taxes. Your itemized donations can be subtracted from your adjusted gross income and lower your tax bill. It is important to note that your donations can also include items, goods and stock. Stock that is over a year old and appreciates, or increases in value is subject to capital gains tax. Donating stock to charities provides a greater value. The organization can benefit from the whole amount versus a taxed monetary donation.  You can also garner a greater tax deduction for yourself when you donate stock to charity. 


Gathering with family and friends presents opportunities for meaningful discussions and advice. Networking can point you in the right direction to reach your financial goals. For example, if you’ve been looking for a financial planner a friend may be able to suggest someone for you. Maybe you are trying to achieve a goal that another family or friend has reached. You can seek guidance and learn from them. 


Furthermore, holidays can often bring sentimental feelings. Conversations regarding retirement plans, wills, and estate planning may come up. Family members may be preparing for their loved ones to be taken care of when they are gone. It is suggested that estate plans include a will, health care, and the power of an attorney. Meaningful conversations, support, donations, and planning are just a few ways to have financial conversations that can promote a collective feeling of optimism and joy this year.