Holiday spending, a budgeting workshop, sponsored by Family Pathfinders took place on Wednesday November 5 at Lou’s Place from 12 to 1.
Family Pathfinders is a non-profit organization that provides financial coaching to the community about budgeting, borrowing, banking, and credit through group secession and one- on-one intensive coaching, said Kristie Johnson, an organization spokesperson. The group is one of many organizations sponsoring Financial Literacy Month.
Johnson spoke with students about their holiday spending and provided tips on how to properly budget holiday expenses.
“We just want to be able to give people tools and strategies that they can use during the holiday season,” said Johnson. “So they don’t go broke because they still have to live beyond Christmas.”
November 2014 is Financial Literacy month at Texas Wesleyan University, hosted by career services, several activities and events have been set up to help student’s budget and become financially aware.
Students at the workshop received a handout titled “Holiday Spending Toolkit” which provided information on how to plan and budget your money for gifts, travel, and food during the holiday season.
A savvy Christmas begins with a plan. Santa makes a list and checks it twice you should too, according to the handout. You can control your money, reduce stress, and eliminate debt if you set a budget and stick with it.
The students were told to make a gift list that includes all the people you plan to buy for, what you will buy them, and how much you will spend on each gift, this will give you a realistic picture of what you can spend without breaking the bank.
Johnson talked about Shopping smart by starting early and not procrastinating, making purchases online, using coupons, and even making gifts yourself.
She showed examples and explained how to make inexpensive handmade gifts such as coasters, candles, Mason jar sewing kits, and bath balms.
Nicole Vasquez, another member of Family Pathfinders, helped set up the Holiday spending workshop along with Johnson and Sandra Myers, the project coordinator of Financial Literacy month.
Vasquez spoke about the importance of using cash and debit cards to make holiday purchases.
“People are more aware of what they are spending and buying when they use cash,” said Vasquez.
Johnson said it is also important to limit credit card use which leads to spending more than you can actually afford.
“Christmas is known as the season when you buy this year’s gift with next year’s money,” said Johnson. “Causing you to get financially behind and next year you’re already starting off in the negative.”
Misael Almaraz a sophomore in marketing, said Christmas can be stressful and I went into debt on my credit cards last year by overspending and buying everyone gifts.
“These were great tips to set a Christmas budget and keeping it low while still getting a gift for everybody,” said Almaraz.