December is the most beautiful time of year for many people. But the merriment often comes with regret in January when the credit card bills have to be repaid. Now that the Federal Reserve Bank is about to increase interest rates on 16 December when the FOMC meets, whatever rates you were paying for borrowed money are likely to be a little higher in January 2016. This does not bode well for a Christmas shopping experience par excellence. However, Santa Claus is all about bringing good cheer to shoppers. He recently arrived in New York City – reindeer, sleigh and all – with sensible financial advice for the holiday shopping season.
Shop Online and Bundle your Purchases Together
Too many people tend to rush all over the place seeking out gifts for family members, friends, work colleagues and associates at different department stores all over town. This is not only chaotic, time-consuming and expensive; it is also a highly disorganized way of doing things. If you shop online at sites like Amazon.com, you have carte blanche to pick and choose whatever it is that you need and then you can have everything shipped to you at a time, place and date that is convenient to you. You can truly save a bundle of money by making your holiday shopping purchases online as opposed to fighting traffic; waiting lines and having your stress levels go through the ceiling.
Send gift cards, gift certificates and well-wishes over the Internet
Believe it or not, Santa Claus is all about technology. The Internet has made it so much easier for kids the world over to contact Santa Claus, and for him to correspond with them in turn. In much the same fashion, it is so much easier to send your holiday gifts such as greetings, gift certificates and messages via e-mail. Today you can pick up cost-effective holiday gift options such as Starbucks cards, Walmart cards, Macy's cards, Target cards, Best Buy cards and the like and have them e-mailed to your recipients. There is no need to frequent land-based stores anymore – and it is 100% safe, direct and personalised.
Fight the urge to splurge with budgeted holiday gift buying
Everyone wants to spend as much as they can on loved ones, friends and relatives. However that is disingenuous because putting yourself in the hole for anyone is silly. We are living through challenging economic times where money is scarce, jobs are uncertain and clarity is hard to come by. The holiday season is about togetherness, sharing and caring. It's not how much you spend on gifts; it's the love, attention and personalised nature of the gifts that matters. A well-worded card has far more meaning and sentiment than a generic electronic gizmo. Of course it helps to instill the right value system in your family so that you are not judged by dollar denominations.
Spend less on holiday shopping so that you can invest for the New Year
Santa Claus did a 180° turn when he recommended that families spend a little less on gift giving and a little more on planning out profitable investment opportunities for the New Year. This is a first for the holiday shopping season, but it makes perfect sense. Gifts that generate positive returns are far preferable to gifts that put you into the red. Some of the sensible advice that Santa Claus has offered investors and traders is the following: Go long on the US dollar since the Fed is about to increase interest rates and this will bode well for the USD.
Avoid emerging market economies since they are highly volatile and subject to capital outflows, high inflation rates and unstable political frameworks. In the short to medium term, you will want to go short on crude oil and natural gas as well as metals like copper and iron ore – this is a direct consequence of weakness in China, OPEC's decision to maintain production and US dollar strength. Santa Claus also recommends avoiding that lustrous, beautiful metal named gold. Why you may be asking? First of all gold is not an interest-bearing asset. When the dollar strengthens, gold weakens and when interest rates rise, gold loses favour as well. Now is a great time to invest your money in fixed-interest-bearing accounts such as savings accounts, CDs and Treasury notes.
Santa Claus Spreads Good Cheer!
By following these 4 tips over the holiday season, not only will you save money and enjoy good times with friends and family, but you will also be able to generate positive returns on your savings by way of sensible investment advice courtesy of the jolly big man in red and white – Santa Claus. The holiday season is really about cost-effective retail therapy, good times and sensible expenditure!
Subscribe to get the free Master Your Money course!
Join the free email course and finally learn how to manage your money better, pay off debt, save more money, and reach financial freedom. Get our newsletter and get access to the freebie: