Special New Year’s Message!

In getting ready to blast off into 2014, I want to share a super simple way to bring more abundance into YOUR life in 2014. It doesn’t cost a cent, so everyone can participate. How about that for a GREAT way to launch the New Year?

Click to hear my special message to you.

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5 Tips to Make Christmas Gift Giving a Joy

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Is Your Holiday Spending Planned to A Tee Or Will It Be A Budget-Breaking Spree?

The race is on for holiday shopping. Black Friday is over and Cyber Monday is here kicking off the shopping frenzy (picture shopping mall tangos and parking lot nightmares here). With a little planning, you can show your love and gratitude this Christmas without losing your wallet. Research shows that Americans plan to spend 6% less this year than last, but still intend to spend an average of $800 per household according to the American Research Group Inc.

 With saving in mind, here are a few tips to achieve that savings with only 23 days left before the big day. Set a budget that makes sense for your financial situation and then stick to it by doing some or all of the following tips.

1. Make your own list of those you want to give gifts to, dividing them into three categories: *Those you want to purchase a gift for, those you want to make or bake something for, and those you want to do something for in the future *Decide what you are going to bake and/or make. There are all sorts of craft items or baked goods that are easy and affordable, just check out Pinterest. Some of my favorites (as reported back by the receivers) have been pickles, flavored salt, personalized refrigerator magnets, and notecards. *For those you’re going to serve, create “coupons” with your favor or service you intend to grant described on it. Examples are: babysitting, lawn or weed service, pet care, massage, or tutoring.

2. Purchase gift cards in bulk at a club store at a discount. Use them yourself to purchase gifts (on sale to save even more) or give them away. Shop at discount stores, such as TJ Maxx, Nordstrom Rack, outlets, or membership stores.

3. Take advantage of deals found on GroupOn, LivingSocial, Amazon, Overstock.com, and other websites offering discounts on gift items and services for those you intend to by for. Just make sure you keep the shipping charges in check. They alone could break your budget if you’re not careful.

4. Organize gift exchanges with your family and workplace. This alone can save a bundle if you can pull it off. Set a price limit, one that everyone agrees upon, draw names or numbers with a correlating list. Set a date for the affair and call it a party. You’re good to go!

5. Create an experience, such as volunteering! Taking a cue from my brother and his family, they serve at a soup kitchen every year, giving the gift of service and a warm meal to those who truly need it and are sincerely grateful. The people they meet, stories they hear, and sights they take in create a memory that becomes their gift to each other. The key is your budget-that’s the foundation for all of it. You can give from your heart without breaking your bank.

You deserve the happiest of holidays, filled with love, peace, and joy. But don’t lose sight of this simple adage, “it’s the thought that counts,” not the dollar-amount of your gift. And that’s the truth.

Remember, it’s your money, it’s your rules, it’s your way!