Holiday budgeting workshop helps students make better financial choices

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‘Tis the season for high stress and empty wallets. 

The good news is there’s hope for your bank account after all. 

On Nov. 21, Delta College hosted a holiday budgeting workshop led by previous CalWorks Academic Advisor Jayme Jones.  

The workshop went over everything from specifically budgeting for the holidays to helping plan everyday expenses and creating a long term, realistic budget. 

Students were provided with a copy of the presentation, a household budgeting sheet that included financial help resources, as well as a blank holiday shopping list to assist in planning out realistic affordable gifts. 

“The budgeting sheet was nice so I can help kind of use it to apply in my daily life,” said student Wali Shakar.

Jones defined budgeting as part of the workshop.

It’s “an individual tool to help prioritize your spending and manage your money, no matter how much or how little you have,” she said.

“No matter how much money you have or how little you may have, you can always budget with what you have. So it’s not about how much, it’s like what you do with your money. And if people are over spenders or if their expenses are more, someone who makes way less can have way more money,” she said.

Jones went over using credit cards versus using debit cards and the pros and cons of each. 

She said the main pros of using a credit card is if there are ever any unauthorized charges on your card, you potentially could only be responsible for a small sum or even have zero liability depending on the company. Hackers don’t have direct access to your full finances like with a debit card.

The students in attendance found insight in the lessons.

“Using a credit card rather than using a debit card because it protects you better was helpful advice,” said student Julie Ochoa.

To wrap up the workshop Jones discussed using a budget for the holiday season. She gave a list of six tips to help students budget through the holidays:

  1. Decide and set limits for total holiday spending making sure you are only considering money you set aside for holiday expenses this year.
  2. Write your shopping list out including gifts, wrapping paper, and anything else needed.
  3. Make sure your budget is realistic and based on your current finances.
  4. Use coupons and/or take advantage of department store sales.
  5. Give personalized gifts instead of expensive gifts.
  6. Plan ahead to help you stick to your list and budget. 

Jones also suggested students should look into Christmas club accounts or holiday saving accounts. 

With the right budget and a bit of strategic planning, holiday spending does not have to wreck your finances for the year. There are many helpful resources available to ease some of that financial pressure and make your holiday season as painless and merry as possible.