Talk Wealth to Me

#013: Financially Planning for Holiday Expenses

July 15, 2019 Felipe Arevalo, Chase Peckham, Katie Utterback Season 1 Episode 13
Talk Wealth to Me
#013: Financially Planning for Holiday Expenses
Show Notes Transcript

Have you ever started off the New Year with credit card debt because of all the money you spent shopping for the Holidays? 

In Episode 13 of Talk Wealth To Me, San Diego Financial Literacy Center's (SDFLC) Community Outreach Director Chase Peckham, SDFLC Community Outreach Coordinator Felipe Arevalo, and DebtWave Credit Counseling's Content Writer Katie Utterback have a discussion about the benefits of financially planning for the Holidays as early as July! 

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Intro:

Welcome to Talk Wealth to Me, a safe space podcast where we chat about anything and everything related to personal finance.

Felipe Arevalo:

The information contained in this podcast is for educational and entertainment purposes only. It does not constitute as accounting, legal, tax or other professional advice.

Chase Peckham:

Dashing through the snow in a one horse open sleigh, over the hills, we go laughing all the way. Happy July everyone and welcome to Talk Wealth to Me. Why am I singing "dashing through the snow" in the dead center of July? Well that's because we're talking about budgeting for the holidays and no sooner, better time to do it then at least six months out. So stay with us. Merry Christmas everybody in July. A little warm for the holidays unless you live in the southern hemisphere or Hawaii or Hawaii. Correct. That that's a very, very good point. But for those of us who live in the northern hemisphere, typically the holidays come around and uh, when it's cold and nothing else, southern California can be nice, but for the most part it's winter. The days are shorter. Yeah. We're looking forward to old St Nick coming around and delivering presence to those of us.

Katie Utterback:

And there's so much excitement in the air. There's like, it smells like cookies and lattes.

Felipe Arevalo:

And you know what's funny is there's already sales.

Chase Peckham:

Exactly. And that's what we're going to talk about today because otherwise there's no point in talking about the holidays. Well, they are . No , except for planning for them.

Felipe Arevalo:

Right. And even, even then, the major retailers have sales in July. Now they've created their own little holiday per se . Um, and even if you don't celebrate the holidays, there's that black Friday where you might go out and buy yourself something

Chase Peckham:

Already? So there's black Friday in July?

Felipe Arevalo:

No, it's prime day in July.

Chase Peckham:

Prime Day?

Felipe Arevalo:

two day shopping extravaganza on Amazon. And of course, the brick and mortar retailers have decided that they're going to do their own things. So next week you can , uh, go out and get deals on random things. Yeah. I told my wife, her birthday is next Monday. Told her you're going to get your present late because on your birthday's prime day, and I'm gonna get some inspiration there.

Katie Utterback:

You told her that?!

Felipe Arevalo:

I did.

Katie Utterback:

Felipe!

Felipe Arevalo:

Cause you know I will be inspired by something that's on sale and say, you know what, here we go.

Chase Peckham:

So this is the whole point of today's podcast is to think about the holidays ahead of time. And I think we all can fall into that rut of waiting to the last minute to get not only your spouse and your kids, but maybe you know, friends and family, coworkers , those gift coworkers a gift and you end up getting them something that it may not really fit them, but it, you know, it , it's something, but it probably cost you three times as much as it would've if you thought it out ahead of time. So the idea is to plan ahead. And I know we talk about planning ahead all the time when it comes to finances and realistically there's just no way around it if you're going to do it right. And planning ahead for the holidays, planning ahead for birthdays, those kinds of things. Not only can it save you a ridiculous amount of money because there's sales in July, right. And there's black Friday. I mean you would even plan for Black Friday, not go out last minute. If you are the kind of person that wants to go do black Friday, I'm more kind of a cyber Monday guy because I don't really have to go anywhere. It's not during the holiday, but that's whole different conversation. And we know that Felipe here really, really, really needs to, even though he does this for a living, he really needs to give these presents an extra thought because we found out just a little bit earlier that he is the world's worst gift ever.

Felipe Arevalo:

I've been told that many times by many people,

Chase Peckham:

please enlighten us on what you gave your entire family for Christmas.

Felipe Arevalo:

So one year I , uh , decided I was going to give everybody the same thing and went out and got every one of my family a air filter for their car.

Chase Peckham:

I heard this story 20 minutes ago and it's still astonishing.

Felipe Arevalo:

Yeah. So it was, yeah , it was a nicer air filter. So it was like a k and h air filter and I just kind of went on Amazon, found out which one fits their car on

Chase Peckham:

Can you imagine the look on everybody's face?! I mean they were all looking around for like April fools earlier .

Felipe Arevalo:

Oh yeah.

Chase Peckham:

Like come on, where's the cameras?

Felipe Arevalo:

Especially the first few. And then they started realizing that all the boxes are very similarly shaped and they slowly all realize that they had a, a brand new reusable air filter that fit their car perfectly. Um, I have, I still, that was five, six years ago and I still get a hard time. Right .

Chase Peckham:

I would imagine you would, and Felipe also mentioned earlier that when he goes to get kids gifts, it's about not only should they be fun, but they should be educational

Felipe Arevalo:

Yeah! Science can be fun!

Chase Peckham:

Worst idea ever. Cause as Katie mentioned, she, you want to be aunt of the year, right?

Katie Utterback:

Yeah. I'm always competing.

Chase Peckham:

There you go. Well that's good. And if you put the thought in early, that could be a good gift. If you find out from their mom and dad, like what they've been thinking about.

Katie Utterback:

Oh no see I don't ever go to mom and dad.

Chase Peckham:

Why?

Katie Utterback:

Because Felipe's answer is what you get from mom and dad.

Felipe Arevalo:

It's true.

Katie Utterback:

The response is they would like some books, so you go straight to the source.

Chase Peckham:

Oh all right . You go straight to the Kiddos and say, what are you guys playing with right now?

Katie Utterback:

I do .

Chase Peckham:

What are you guys into?

Katie Utterback:

I ask them that. I'm like, what are you into? What's cool now? Help me be cool. And then they just, they love that because they think it's hilarious that

Chase Peckham:

If you're doing early enough you're going to get plenty of time to figure out how you can get those things on sale, better prices, and then you end up being the cool aunt that is of course with the attention span of kids these days, you never know if that thing they were playing with in February in there come around to the holidays is completely not cool anymore.

Katie Utterback:

No, and that's why I tried to stick to things that they are just usually into . So I know that my niece, she's a little gymnast dancer thing. She's all over the place. Tons of energy. So I go to the costumes department for her and I just get her like an outfit and then it's just this make believe thing. But she can do it with her friends

Chase Peckham:

and she can put it on. She can pretend she's a magician too. That would be educational, right Phil?

Felipe Arevalo:

Well it's healthy, it's exercise. So I think it would fall into the good category.

Chase Peckham:

You haven't been a parent long enough. We once you become a parent long enough, you're going to realize alright , we get them what they really want during the holidays, birthdays and then the other stuff, the educational stuff. That's kind of just filler.

Felipe Arevalo:

Well that's funny cause you mentioned like the holidays and birthdays and everything. Because when, when I do budgets with people one on one, we're flying through some of the fixed expenses. Obviously guesstimating. A lot of people have to guesstimate on the variable, but when I go over gifts , a lot of times I get, oh nothing, $10

Chase Peckham:

that's Baloney .

Felipe Arevalo:

Right. But then I like to ask them a follow up question. Do you do birthday presents for people? Do you do holiday presents for people? And I'm like, well, yeah, of course, but I didn't buy any last month. But if you want this to be your every month budget, you can't wait and include that hundreds of dollar expense at the end of the year in December because you don't, you may not have the room for it. And that's why, you know, [inaudible] or you're right. And people come to us all the time in early November , uh, November saying, you know, give me if you have any tips for saving money for the holidays or shopping for the holidays. And really this is why we're doing the podcast now is because if you wait to November, you're too late,

Chase Peckham:

far too late. And even if you do go to black Friday, even if you go do those incredible shopping experiences, you're still gonna spend more money then at one time than you probably can afford, which you probably put it on a credit card. That credit card goes three or four or five months out without paying it off. So you're paying interest on those things that you bought on black Friday, which then by that time we'll end up costing as much probably as they were when they were retail. Yeah , so the point is is if you, you try to, it's almost like January, you're already putting away money in that budget and you're thinking about what you can get and when you find things on sale, you buy them then and it's just one thing, right? You're not rushing to buy 15 things because your Christmas shopping, you know, needs to be done at one time a year. Nobody says you need to do that. Although retailers would probably like you if you did that right. But the idea is if you can go through and you can think about what your husband might want early, that won't expire. Yeah, keep buying something that's edible. That far in advance is probably not the wisest choice.

Katie Utterback:

I thought it was just a month .

Chase Peckham:

I know that people are listening to this laughing because we've all been through this. We all know exactly what it's about and that's why I think Phil , that the tips that you give, whether you follow them or not, but I think you do because as crazy as a air filter from a car is, that's ingenious actually. It takes a lot of thought. It takes a ton of thought and it means a lot and those people are probably who have not replaced their air filter in forever cause it's a nice air filter. They actually use the gift that you gave them every single day.

Felipe Arevalo:

Oh, I've had, it's the only gift that I've ever given where someone continuously uses it. They don't see it until they have to go in and wash it, but unless they've replaced the vehicle, they're still running on that same air filter from five years ago that's in ,

Chase Peckham:

the more I think about it and as goofy as it was, it really was very thoughtful gift

Felipe Arevalo:

for half of them. I even went and installed it for them afterwards.

Chase Peckham:

Really?

Felipe Arevalo:

Yeah.

Chase Peckham:

You're a good guy

Felipe Arevalo:

Well, I wasn't going to have my mom install the air filter

Chase Peckham:

I would I would just please don't buy me an air filter

Felipe Arevalo:

I've had some,

Chase Peckham:

although I will go check my Yukon right now to see if the air filter needs to be replaced.

Felipe Arevalo:

Well they tell you all the time when you bring it in, any car for service, they always want to change your air filter. That's something that cost money. So instead now you have this refill or re you just wash it out, pop it back in there and save yourself some money and you get better gas mileage according to the box.

Chase Peckham:

There you go according to the box.

Katie Utterback:

So let me ask you guys this, cause you guys are Kinda the budget gurus around here. So let's say it's July, I'm mapping out who's to get a gift from me, who's not. All of a sudden it's December. I get a gift from someone not on my prepared list. What do I do?

Chase Peckham:

Wow , that's, that's interesting. That's a conundrum. That is great . They gave you a gift. No. This must be something that is sent early.

Katie Utterback:

No, I'm just wondering like what do you do in a situation where you're budgeting for all these people you expect to get a gift from,

Chase Peckham:

but by the time you get a gift from somebody that you didn't budget a gift for, it's too late because you're receiving it right around the holidays. Whether it came in the mail a week before the holidays and then you put it under the tree or you open, you know, you just got it and you opened it up on Christmas Day. Or if it's Hannukah and it's one of the days of gift-giving . What I'm thinking you're in trouble already. Yeah.

Katie Utterback:

What if it's like a neighbor or a coworker?

Chase Peckham:

Then if you send something and it's late, it's a makeup gift. And they know ? Oh, I got her a gift. She panics and went out and got and went out and found me some and couldn't get it in the mail in time and oh by the way, it's a magic slinky and why would I want a magic slinky?

Katie Utterback:

Because it's educational

Chase Peckham:

and dog gone entertaining the way it goes down those steps. There is a reason that thing sells every single year for the last 70 years, but I think you're screwed no matter what

Felipe Arevalo:

a possible solution could be to especially like let's say this individuals over 21 is you can have a couple extra bottles of wine, six pack of beer, which is kind of sitting off to the side and then say, oh, oh my cousins , uh , sorry my, my cousin's boyfriend showed up. Um, what do I get him? He got me. And it could be like a tie . Oh look buddy, you like beer. Here's a six pack of beer that I got you.

Katie Utterback:

Do you guys do that? Do you have generic gifts you can give out?

Felipe:

I , I do.

Chase Peckham:

That's funny you say that it , I am

Felipe Arevalo:

right. It depends on where , where you're celebrating the holidays.

Chase Peckham:

But Felipe has got a much larger family and so there's a lot of chance and

Felipe Arevalo:

a lot of variables

Chase Peckham:

for random show ups to the, to the holiday party. Right. And my family, it's just us. Um, the four of us when we're here locally. And then, cause we have to split Keri, Keri's an east coast person originally we are here, she said when we go, we split years. So La this last year we were here, next year we will go back east, be with her side of the family and it's typically just the four of us at home on Christmas morning. Then we might run into, you know, a family and or friends or something. Uh , but it typically stays pretty low key. Um, where, you know , uh, back east, still not huge, but we will run into more family but it's over a four or five day process. Right. It's not just Christmas.

Felipe Arevalo:

There's another thing you had a budget [inaudible]

Chase Peckham:

we'll already, we are already prepared for that kind of thing based on who we run into and we would know along the lines that there might be a certain alcoholic beverage that certain parts of the family really like. Um, and we just kind of go with that and that's what everybody kind of gets. So yeah, we do plan ahead for that kind of thing. But especially when you've got a family, the size of Felipe's and it could be random show variable on Atlanta show up, but for the most part to Phil, if it's a boyfriend of somebody you know in your family and they just kind of show up. I don't think they're expecting a gift.

Felipe Arevalo:

No. But if he shows up, hey look, I got you a tie SDSU tie cause I saw it and I thought that if you don't have anything there's panic mode. Like oh no, what am I gonna do? But if you happen to have

Chase Peckham:

and you just go , oh you shouldn't have,

Felipe Arevalo:

I'll be right back

Chase Peckham:

and you'll be, I thought you might come [inaudible]

Felipe Arevalo:

Curtis, I'm sorry if you're listening to this,

Katie Utterback:

Did this, did this really happen?!

Felipe Arevalo:

Yeah

Chase Peckham:

that is too good to be true. That is phenomenal. The things you need to think of, right. It really is crazy. And you know the holidays are supposed to be this just wonderful time of being together with family but yet it really, it is. We are all so programmed that we have to have gifts and , and give somebody something. Cause it really is more fun to give, especially as adults than it is to receive as kids. But think about how excited those kids get. I mean, my daughter, she goes crazy in the craft department. My son won't do this, but my daughter will, she'll just make a card and , and it'll take forever and she'll put a lot of thought into it. And even though she gives it to you as her holiday gift, the look on her face and that costs her or it costs me crayons and paper. Right, right. So, oh yeah. It really matters a lot. My brother, my son who was zero, I mean zero art capability, he would just come up and slap you on the back and say, Hey dad, I'm going to hit, he'll give a gift. Like I promise to go get you beer for the next three weekends or something and he'll get it out of the fridge or something. And he thought of that quick, all right . But for the most part, they're even kids, you know, they'll, they'll want to save up to go get their friends or in their parents little gifts here and there. Yeah. So they, and we tell them the same thing. You gotta plan ahead. You can't wait till the last minute because you're going to spend way more than you ever thought. It's kind of like going to the grocery store. You need to make a list. If you make a list, you're going to spend less, you're going to get what you want and you're gonna come back and your budget's going to be a much healthier position than if you went hungry without anything. Because then you're coming home with all kinds of stuff that a, you didn't need b, you probably shouldn't eat and c, you're coming home with nothing that you really wanted to come home with and needed in the first place. Right.

Felipe Arevalo:

And another thing you can do is, there are like games you could play. Maybe you set up with your family now and say, hey, you know, maybe everyone give the kids gifts as they see fit. But as adults, we're all gonna do a secret Santa and then do the distributing of the names now and now you have six months to save up for and or buy and find one item for one person and a saving save you a lot of money that way. We tried that last year

Chase Peckham:

and if you've got a larger family or, and even if even if you don't use the white elephant thing is a really fun item and you put a cap, you put a cap on what you spend and it's really fun to watch people go through that and people do those for office parties and they'll do that for a friends getting together before the holidays or around the holidays. So those white elephant type of gift giving is a lot of fun and you almost forget about what the actual thing is. It's the fun of, of getting it. Yeah. And I think it's, is it white elephant where you can take it back where you can still , yeah, that's kind of fun. Yeah, it is. It's really fun. And then you realize you stole something and then something's cool after that.

Felipe Arevalo:

And then you have to open up another one and you're like, oh no, what am I doing with this? I'm going to give it to my wife.

Chase Peckham:

Right. Still. That's, that can be a lot of fun. Yeah. So there's a lot of different ways to think about creating the holidays. I'm saving money at the holidays, but really there's no better way to go about it than just starting early. And what better time than the six months. Six months out in the dead of summer. Yeah .

Felipe Arevalo:

And starting now and it'll alleviate the pressure once you get there, it'll make it less stressful.

Chase Peckham:

Yeah. And you happen to be out shopping for a little thing one day and you go, oh, look at that. That is the, that is the best gift for my cousin ever. Yeah . And you go by that. It's cheap. You put it away for awhile . And not only that, but the stress levels of not having to rush to get all these people things at the end.

Felipe Arevalo:

Cause you kinda know what people like. So you might find something completely off the wall on sale now that you're not going to find in December. For example, the w the one person I'm always out looking for their gift early is my sister-in-law. She loves, i, can't pronounce it , the Dots Dotson , the Weenie dogs , dogs, dachshund and that's how you pronounce it. Um, she was those dogs. That's not the most common type of thing. But I've found things throughout the course of the year on occasions , like wow, a cookie jar, and she likes to bake cookies. So a cookie jar that's the shape of the dachshund in makes a perfect gift. But it's march. Her birthday's not in November, so it's not like, not till November. So it's not like I can give it to her for her birthday.

Chase Peckham:

So it's like a Dachshund cookie, cookie jar.

Felipe Arevalo:

Yeah. So you can put like maybe two different kinds of cookies and there's a divider in the middle, things like that where it's like that's something she might use. It's something that fits what she likes. I'm going to have to just buy it now and try not to break it.

Chase Peckham:

She must really like that type of dog?

Felipe Arevalo:

I think so

Chase Peckham:

because in most people's houses when they have like a motif that they follow a dog cookie jar,

Felipe Arevalo:

I'm not sure it's going to make the car has a new house. So I don't know if her decor has changed. Oh No . Previous and permanent . It worked great. Now in their new home, I don't know if it's going to make it onto the shelf, but that's true. And you know, she's a teacher so his thought find like a dachshund stapler and tape dispenser

Chase Peckham:

could go in her classroom

Felipe Arevalo:

in the classroom and there you go.

Chase Peckham:

That's not a bad,

Felipe Arevalo:

find those on the little clear shelf at target. Sometimes little random things like that because no one else wants to buy something like that. Um, and you can get shopping done for that if you're that specific person far ahead of time.

Chase Peckham:

It's not a bad idea at all . All right . Um , I'm sold. I'm sold. Katie's not sold.

Katie Utterback:

No, I just don't like, I just don't like [inaudible] dachshunds. There are these two dachshunds seriously, there are two little dachshunds that live outside of our apartment right now and as soon as they're a little paws hit the pavement, it's just nonstop barking and growling until they get back inside. So I'm just imagining in a cookie jar that every time you take the lid off it just starts barking.

Chase Peckham:

That'd be good.

Felipe Arevalo:

That'd be a funny warning to the kids. Can't sneak one in. That would be kind of funny . Yeah.

Chase Peckham:

Another good way of doing things too. It's gift cards. Um , when you're talking about family and you know that they really like something and you want to have a set amount that you can spend, that you want to spend, you can do it with a gift card. I mean if you say, I'm going to spend $20 or $25 on each person in the family and you know that they really like, as Felipe mentioned, Olive Garden , then you know, that could be money well spent because what else would you like to do when you go out to dinner then not actually spend real money?

Felipe Arevalo:

Yeah. You know what, bonus tip. If it's something where certain restaurants, if you go somewhere like Costco, you can get to $50 gift cards to certain restaurants for 79 80 bucks. Yeah. So you know, and they have other denominations and other restaurants depending on, you know, whatever your local Costco has there, there's other places to do that, but you might not have to pay the full you're going to give two $50 gift cards. You might be able to get them for $80 now you've saved, you know , 20% yep .

Chase Peckham:

You're guaranteed that, you know, they're going to like what they're getting. It's true. So you save a lot of time that way and it's always going to be on budget because you're the one that sets it. Yeah. Right. So it's not like, oh my gosh, they would really like that, but that's $45 right now.

Felipe Arevalo:

And you can finish it all in one trip to like Vons or your local grocery store. They have those little , uh , setups where you could buy one for this one for that. And you can , you could finish your shopping well before your ,

Chase Peckham:

I don't recommend doing that for your spouse.

Katie Utterback:

Yeah, I would stay away from that

Chase Peckham:

because that's That just means that you really didn't put any thought into it at all.

Felipe Arevalo:

Her birthday's coming up, so that's a good, good heads up.

Chase Peckham:

Yeah, that's a good one. I would,

Katie Utterback:

Even for a spouse, it doesn't take much. Like for my birthday, AJ got me a coloring book and it was like under the sea animals and pineapples because I love pineapples and like beach stuff and it was something silly, but it's just, it worked.

Chase Peckham:

It was probably a stress reliever. You get [inaudible] on and you just draw or color in the lines. I mean, yeah, why not? I think that , but that's again, that is right down. That is down to him understanding who he's married to. Right. And it doesn't have to be expensive.

Speaker 3:

It doesn't, but it can be incredibly thoughtful.

Katie Utterback:

Well, and it was something to that it was like I was looking for

Chase Peckham:

Were you expecting it?

Katie Utterback:

No I was looking for a coloring book, but I was one of those things like I didn't really want to buy it for myself. So again, it was one of those things like with the air filter, you don't necessarily buy it for yourself, but it'd be a great gift. So maybe just start listening now to

Chase Peckham:

I'm gonna go home tonight and look at Avery's abundance of coloring books and see if we cant help Katie out

Felipe Arevalo:

See if you have an extra under the sea pineapple one .

Chase Peckham:

Yeah, exactly. So yeah, there's no time like the present, no play on words there. Sorry. But no time like the present to start planning for the holidays or planning for birthdays in advance because it'll help save a budget. It, you can put a budget together for each person. Um, it doesn't have to be exact, but you can put it in the ballpark. So by the time you get around to the holidays, your stress levels are gonna be much lower. You're going to be so much more relaxed to do the other things that you want to do, like to enjoy. Ready the house for having people over and what you're going to eat in and where you're going to go. And if you have to travel, you're not rushing around to get everything out there. You can get things sent ahead of time. Um , it's not a bad idea and the honest truth, especially if you have people that live , uh, outside of where you're going, save yourself a lot of money by shopping online and having that sent to wherever it is that you're going to live and have it sent to other family members. So they can, it's not going to the person's house that you're living at, but my wife is phenomenal at this and she has our presents sent all over the place for the family , so we don't have to A. Try to put a whole other suitcase together to take all the presents and , and hopefully they don't get damaged. Yeah. Right. And so by the time you get there, they're already there. They're ready to go. We even send, have our kids' gifts that we're getting and we have them sit there before , uh, before they get there before we all get there.

Katie Utterback:

Well that's smart too cause my sister did that. Um, cause I'm originally from Minnesota and San Diego to Minnesota. There were some presents that I got lost in the shuffle, so yeah, sure.

Chase Peckham:

Here you go. Yeah. Shipping free shipping. Right. That's true.

Felipe Arevalo:

Amazon prime and a lot of Amazon, you can get free shipping. There's, there's deals that you can get all the time that will be free shipping. You appreciate that way to go for a lot of the brick and mortars, you'll be able to get a ship. You just go to your local store and pick it up and save yourself the $4, especially if it's a story you were going to end up going to. Anyways.

Chase Peckham:

That's a very good plan. Very good plan. I'm glad we could have this conversation. I just wanted to close this podcast , um, with one thing. And , and that's that not only does Felipe give his entire family car air filters, but one year he gave them all hoodies too . So the entirety family matching hoodies, from the grandmas to the babies, h oodies. Right on. That is phenomenal.

Felipe Arevalo:

I've had some wins and some losses in the gift giving category,

Chase Peckham:

but the bottom line is nobody thinks about it more than you do. So that's, that's pretty awesome in itself. It gives us great stories. It really is. Katie , what do we have to look forward to?

Katie Utterback:

We have another debt payoff story coming up. Gina, the Frugal Convert is going to share how she paid off $105,000 in five years.

Chase Peckham:

$105,000 in five years. That's pretty impressive. Is there like , so did she come into a lot of money or something?

Katie Utterback:

You have to stay tuned , chase .

Chase Peckham:

Right. I guess we'll do that. Stay tuned for next time.