Financial Planning Standards Council

Financial Planning Standards Council

December 09, 2009 10:45 ET

The Best Gift of All: Eliminate Holiday Stress by Spending Responsibly

Take another look at "SANTA" with these five tips

TORONTO, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - Dec. 9, 2009) - While financial planning may not be top-of-mind during the holiday season, money invariably is. As Canadians warm back up to spending it's important to keep a cool head about holiday spending and resist the urge to splurge.

"This was a difficult year for many Canadians, so this may just be the holiday season to think outside of the box when it comes to spending, gifting and planning for the year ahead," says Tamara Smith, VP of Marketing and Consumer Affairs, FPSC.

Financial Planning Standards Council (FPSC), a not-for-profit organization dedicated to ensuring the financial planning needs of Canadians are well served, offers these ideas to help Canadians enjoy a meaningful — and fiscally responsible — holiday season.

Take another look at "SANTA" with these five tips:

 S Start a savings plan for your children
  Although children always enjoy the latest toys, an investment in their future is an invaluable gift that will be appreciated for many years. Open up a savings account for your children or buy a 'piggy bank' and teach them the habit of saving early in their life. You can also invest in their future with an RESP or another investment plan.
 A Activate Generosity
  Reinforce the true spirit of the holidays and bond with your brood at the same time by volunteering as a family for a good cause in your community, or make a donation in someone's name to their favorite local not-for-profit group or charity (don't forget the tax receipt!).
 N Needs and Wants
  The holiday season presents an ideal opportunity for you to reflect on the difference between needs and wants. If you have children, talk to them about these differences. While you don't want to be a 'Grinch' this holiday season, starting the discussion about the importance of planning and saving for wants within your means (including holiday treats) can empower your children with a healthy and positive relationship with money.
 T Time
  Take the time this holiday season and reflect on your goals. Remember, financial planning is really all about putting the right financial strategies in place to meet life goals. Consider both the long- and short- term goals. Discuss goals as a family (vacation, sending kids to school, making major purchases?) and commit to putting a plan in place to help you get there. Consider engaging a Certified Financial Planner® professional in the New Year to help you meet these goals with the right financial strategies.
 A Accountability
  Stay accountable to your budget to avoid unnecessary debt to fund your gift-giving. Before you leave the house, make a list of the people you are buying for and attach a budget to each person. This will help you resist impulse buys. And do your research — some items like books and DVD's may be less expensive online and include free shipping.

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About Financial Planning Standards Council

Financial Planning Standards Council (FPSC) is a not-for-profit organization dedicated to ensuring Canadians' financial planning needs are well served by developing, promoting and enforcing professional standards for financial planning, through CFP® certification, and raising awareness of the importance of financial planning to Canadians. FPSC licenses the CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER® marks in Canada. There are currently more than 17,500 CFP professionals in Canada and more than 120,000 individuals who have earned CFP certification in 22 countries around the world. These individuals are licensed to use the registered marks: CFP®, CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER® and CFP (with flame logo)®. See for more information.

CFP®, CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER® and CFP (with flame logo)® are trademarks owned outside the U.S. by Financial Planning Standards Board Ltd. Financial Planners Standards Council is the marks licensing authority for the CFP Marks in Canada, through agreement with FPSB.

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