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The Best Holiday Shopping Budget Tips

Holidays are a time for giving, but giving too much can also put you in a huge financial hole. If you don’t want to end up having to dig yourself out of a shopping deficit at the end of December, follow these holiday shopping budget tips.

1. Set an overall budget.

Think about what you’re really able to spend overall and stick to that amount. What you’ll spend on each individual can fluctuate within that amount, but the overall budget should remain the same to avoid overspending.

2. Make a list of gift recipients, then trim it down.

Your second cousin whom you haven’t seen in 10 years probably doesn’t need a new set of dinner plates. Stick to the closest family members and friends for gift giving. If you still want to send something to long-lost relatives and acquaintances, a holiday photo card is a nice, inexpensive idea.

3. Use cash for purchases.

Credit cards can make it much easier to overspend. Instead, put cash aside at the beginning of the holiday shopping season and use that money to make purchases. If you prefer online shopping, create a separate account for your holiday shopping money, or be extremely disciplined in sticking to your budget.

4. Take advantage of free shipping.

Online shopping is convenient, but the shipping costs can really add up. Take advantage of free shipping days by making several gift purchases at once. Most retailers offer free shipping if you spend a certain amount.

5. Start shopping early.

Waiting until the last minute can cause you to overspend. Starting your holiday shopping as early as September or October is a good idea because you can shop a little bit at a time. Everyday deals are often better than Black Friday and Cyber Monday deals anyway, and you’ll be more likely to score the big-ticket items that might sell out on these busy shopping days.

6. Think quality, not quantity.

One thoughtful gift is more appreciated than several random items. Homemade gifts are also a good idea as they come from the heart. The best part is, they’re also less expensive.

Stay on budget with these holiday shopping tips and enjoy the season!

blog, John J. Bowman Jr Accountant, John J. Bowman Jr. Accountant, personal finance

Finance Tips for the Holiday Season

The holiday season can get pretty expensive. Starting with candy and costumes for family and neighbors in October, followed by a feast of food in November and all of the gifts, gatherings, and extras around the winter holiday season, bills can really add up. Unfortunately, your wallet may not be able to keep up with the hustle and bustle of the holiday season. There are several ways to help you save money while still allowing you to delight in the magic and wonder of the holidays.

Set a budget

It’s easy to spend money when you don’t try to set a cap on how much you’re allowed to spend. Without a budget, you’ll be more likely to overspend. Sit down and work numbers before even setting foot in a store so you know exactly how much you have to spend. On average, people spend around $704 during the holiday season, but that is all dependent on an individual’s personal financial situation.

Do your research

Everyone is going to be advertising that they have the best deal on a specific product during the holiday season. It’s up to you to do your homework and see who’s actually telling the truth. You can comparison shop right from the comfort of your own home by looking up prices online. That way, you’ll know you’re getting the best deal.

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John J. Bowman Jr Accountant, John J. Bowman Jr. Accountant, personal finance

When to See a Financial Advisor

For many, talking about money can be a nerve-wracking experience. It’s not included in the preferred “small-talk” topic list, and some consider it a sensitive subject. However, conversations about personal finance are an important element in the process of helping individuals grow their net worth. That’s where financial advisors come in. Financial advisors serve as conduits for these conversations, offering advice and assistance in planning and executing financial strategy. When should you see a financial advisor?

When You’re Experiencing Life Changes

From starting a family to transitioning into retirement, drastic changes in your life often benefit from the perspective of a financial advisor. When it comes to marriage and bearing children, the introduction of joint finances, college savings, and estate planning for wills can be a tempest of confusion. As for retirement, financial advisors can offer insight into a retiree’s financial stability and the process of filing for Social Security. In both cases, financial advisors can help organize the clutter and reorganize an individual’s priorities. A thorough understanding of your future financial situation will only serve as a benefit.

When You Have Large Investment Sums

Having a good chunk of money involves much more strategy than one may expect. To manage strategies and accounts and balances, individuals need assistance from people who can navigate those murky waters and work with large sums of money and investments. If you’re dedicated to stock market investments and exchange trading, a financial advisor can help organize your finances. It’s easy to let small aspects of portfolios slip through the cracks, but a successful financial advisor can spot those bits and make sure that you’re really getting your money’s worth.

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