According to Dr. Jenn Berman as posted here …
“Children’s birthday parties have become increasingly extravagant and parents report feeling tremendous pressure to create the “perfect party.” In a poll of 28,000 parents for Parenting Magazine, 82% of respondents reported that children’s birthday parties have become too over-the-top. The party industry for kids is stronger than it has ever been. Hallmark estimates that people spend over $600 million on kids’ cards, gift-wrap and party ware every year. Children today have come to expect entertainment, gift bags and expensive presents.”
According to Jean Chatzky as posted here …
“Keep credit cheerful and in check
The holidays are a great time to enjoy friends and loved ones, return to one’s spiritual foundation, and reflect on the year. Unfortunately, they’re also a time to rack up debt.
Did you know that some financial planners say holiday spending should be no more than 1.5 percent of your income for the year? That’s $750 for a $50,000 earner, and it includes everything from eggnog to airline tickets. If you haven’t been socking away cash throughout the year, try these tips to avoid going into debt this season.
- Know your limits. How much can you afford? It’s important to decide ahead of time?not in the middle of a shopping trip. Take a look at last year’s statements to see how much you actually spent. (Want help? Use our Holiday Budget Calculator.)
- Break it down. Once you have a realistic total budget, it’s time to start your list. Write down all the expenses you expect to have, and be as specific as you can. (Sending out 50 cards is a lot more expensive than sending 10.) List each person you plan to buy a gift for, and estimate how much to spend for each of them. (Try using our Gift Registerand Budgeting Tool.)
- Spend smart. There’s no reason to feel like a Scrooge for being budget-conscious at the holidays. Chances are, many on your gift list also feel the pinch. Look for deals online. Make gifts at home. Plan your travel well in advance. Most importantly, remember the real reasons for the events you’re celebrating.
If you’re dreaming of a simpler holiday season, the resources here are just for you. Learn how you can celebrate this time of year without sacrificing your values, priorities, and financial goals.”