Christmas is here! The time to give and received gifts has arrived. The question you should be asking yourself this time of year is: Do you know how to maximize what you receive from your family and friends? And we are not just talking about cash, which is by the way one of the best gift you can receive, we are talking about those gifts that can turn into real assets.
According to Dr. Kurt Schindler, Certified Financial Planner®, if you want to get the most out of your Christmas gifts, you can follow some of the following tips:
Cash: The best gift! However be cautious. It is proven that people treat money they receive as gift different and tend to be more careless with it that the one they earned. You have to think a little more about how you are going to spend that money, don’t be impulsive with it. The best way to stretch that money is to save a third of the total amount you received, by placing it in a savings account for example and to think in what you really want to spend the rest. The idea behind this is not to spend all of it in one move.
Cash cards: Usually, it is from a specific mall nearby, and you can use it in different stores within the mall. Ideally, you must first go to the mall and visit all the stores that you like. Then, come back another day and select what you truly need and want. Don’ t rush!
Gift card: This has become one of the most popular gifts, however, let’s be honest, you don’t always get a card from a store you like. You can use that card for a future gift and by then you would have one gift less to buy. You can also sell it to somebody you know loves to shop at that particular store. This way you could turn the card into cash that you can use everywhere. If the card is from a store you love, the rule of thumb applies: Be patient. Visit the store and check out their inventory calmly and don’t buy out of impulse. Another alternative is to visit the store when they are having a sale. Just make sure the card doesn’t expire.
Clothing: Usually this kind of gift always comes with a gift receipt. If you don’t like the clothes they gave you or they don’t fit, visit the store and exchange the article for something you like or fits better. You can also give it to one of your friends and family and like the gift card; you will have one less gift to buy!
The important think here is to be grateful for the money we have and learn to be responsible by using it the best way possible. Visit our section Banking 101 for more information and tips for achieving your independence.