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Don’t Go Broke This Year: Here’s Your Holiday Spending Guide
Don’t Go Broke This Year: Here’s Your Holiday Spending Guide
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November 2017
The average American consumer will spend nearly $970 this year on the holiday season, according to a new survey from the National Retail Federation, up 3.4 percent from last year. For most people, this spending breaks down into roughly $600 on gifts for friends and family, another $200 on food and decorations, and just over $140 on non-gift purchases related to the holidays.
That’s a big jump over the typical American’s monthly budget, which hovers around $5,000. But unplanned purchases and impulse buys during the holidays aren’t always bad, as long as you give yourself some limits. Take these tips from SAM to avoid going overboard on your holiday spending. 
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Flexible Spending Accounts (FSAs) are powerful spending tools to manage certain out-of-pocket health care costs. Since the money in an FSA is not taxed, you save an amount equal to the taxes you would have paid on any money you set aside. (Do you qualify? Check with your HR department during open enrollment to make sure or to opt-in to an FSA that you previously haven’t used.)
FSA money can be used for all sorts of medical and dental expenses, including prescription medications, some over-the-counter treatments, eyeglasses, teeth whitening, acupuncture and more. Any money that you put into an FSA — up to $2,600 per year — generally must be spent within that same calendar year. That means that, come January 1, 2018, anything you haven’t spent in 2017 could be lost. It is time to spend it or lose it.
SAM has assembled a list of ways to use up that balance before the end of the year, including some you may not have considered.
Read the List
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Tune in to our Facebook page on December 7th at 11AM Mountain Time to hear more about our Life Events and Transitions Course.
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