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3 Tips for Personal Finances During the Holiday Season

Ballast Financial Professionals share tips for your personal finances this holiday season.

(originally published November 2018)

Between holiday gifts, parties and meals — this time of year is one of inevitably higher spending.

No matter what your regular habits are around your personal financial planning, it’s a good practice this time of year to give your household budget a once-over and pay extra attention to your spending.

Even if your gifting budget is unlimited, there are a few reasons an extra eye on your expenditures is recommended.

Professionals from Ballast Advisors share three best practices for personal finances this holiday season.

Tip #1: Plan Ahead

Santa shouldn’t be the only one making lists and checking them twice.

“Plan ahead and stick to your budget,” recommends wealth advisor Scott Peterson of Ballast Advisors, who has twenty-seven years of experience in the financial services industry. 

Consider planning for the not so obvious — smaller expenses like hostess gifts and extra groceries for out of town company can add up quickly, so factor them in advance.

There are even some apps that can help you plan your giving. Santa’s Bag is an easy-to-use Christmas themed shopping app that helps you budget and track your gift giving by recipient.

Ultimately, you can’t calculate where you’re going financially unless you know where you stand now, so cash flow and budget analysis is key.

Christmas shopping list

Tip #2: Shop Early

Even if you’re not a die-hard Black Friday shopper, don’t wait until Christmas Eve to do your shopping, or you will likely spend more.

“Start shopping early,” says Paul Parnell, Founding Partner of Ballast Advisors.  Paul has over twenty-three years of experience in guiding clients and helping them prepare for a sound financial future.

“From personal experience, last minute shopping is much more expensive,” adds Parnell.

Again if you couple this second tip with planning ahead, you’re on track to wiser spending.

Tip #3: Evaluate Regularly

As the saying goes, “the road to Hell is paved with good intentions” —and the same logic applies to your holiday shopping.

Even if you start off with a budget, a plan, shop early — if you don’t actually stick to it, it’s not worth much.

“Don’t wait until after the Holidays to evaluate what you spent,” says CFP®  certified financial professional Richard Juckel, who is responsible for overseeing the advice and wealth management operations and serves on the Investment Committee at Ballast Advisors.

Not only is it important to make a budget, but it’s equally important to track it closely. Hang on to your receipts, spend that extra time entering your spend against your budget.

Unfortunately, this time of year is also a time where theft is on the rise. Keep track of your transactions to be sure there isn’t any unauthorized spending.

These simple steps put into action will help you keep on track this season.

For more information on how Ballast Advisors helps Twin Cities professionals discover their financial needs and goals



For more information on how Ballast Advisors helps professionals discover their financial needs and goals, contact Ballast Advisors for a complimentary consultation at a location near you:

Ballast Advisors – Woodbury

683 Bielenberg Dr., Suite 208
Woodbury, MN  55125-1705
Tel: 651.478.4644

 Ballast Advisors – St. Paul

3820 Cleveland Ave. N, Ste. 500

St. Paul, MN  55112-3298
Tel: 651.200.3100

Ballast Advisors – Punta Gorda
223 Taylor Street, Suite 1214
Punta Gorda, FL  33950-3901
Tel: 941.621.4015

 Ballast Advisors, LLC is a registered investment advisor under the Investment Advisers Act of 1940, as amended. Registration does not imply a certain level of skill or training. More information about the firm, including its services, strategies, and fees can be found in our ADV Part 2, which is available without charge upon request. The opinions expressed herein are those of Ballast Advisors, LLC and are subject to change without notice.