Many reports suggest that consumer holiday spending will increase this year and retailers are willing to give big discounts to draw you into their stores.  The key to taking advantage of this is to set a budget, figure out who you want to buy gifts for, and what you’ll be giving them. Once you make this list, you’ll be able to seek out deals on the items you need. Curious how you can give big, but spend little?  Check out our tips for saving money this holiday season:

1.  Our first tip will always be to examine your reasoning for spending a lot on holiday gifts.  Are you trying to impress someone or win the heart of your children?  Neither of those reasons are in keeping with the meaning of the season- give because you want to, not because you feel you have to.  Many families give 3 gifts to their children (because Jesus received 3 gifts) or have each person choose one family member out of a hat to keep costs low and eliminate possible stressors. There is never a good reason to purchase things on credit or go into debt to please others.  The idea of, ‘if you can’t afford it, don’t buy it,’ still applies and will eliminate the holiday hangover from credit card bills in January. 

2.  Gail Keller, of Gail’s, is a Johnson County mom who keeps an up to date list of all local deal sites (Groupon, Muncharoo, etc.) on her blog. Sign up at the websites she lists and receive information on 50% off gift cards to give to friends and family (or to use toward their gifts).  She also sends out a weekly newsletter that lists national coupons for major retailers- sign up at  My wife and I read her website and newsletter frequently to find deals and recommend that other people sign up to stay well-informed.

3.  Shop on Black Friday or Cyber Monday.  These two days typically provide the deepest discounts offered by retailers each holiday season.  There are also several websites that list deals in advance so you can plan your shopping trip/computer time- one of our favorites its:  This blog is updated daily with deals. 

4.  For unique gifts, remember that you have an opportunity to give to charity for the items you purchase.  We are proud to sponsor the Gift Gallery at Cure’ of Ars School on Nov. 13th.  20% of the money spent is donated to children’s charities in the Kansas City area.  Last year the committee donated $15,000 and the event is expected to surpass that amount this year.  Check out their website,, for more information and a list of vendors.

Ready to start your comprehensive financial plan?  Call me to schedule your free consultation- 913.693.7918.

John P. Chladek, MBA, CFP® is the President of Chladek Wealth Management, LLC, a fee-only financial planning and investment management firm specializing in helping families and couples who are not yet retired realize their financial goals.  For more information, visit

All written content on this site is for information purposes only.  Opinions expressed herein are solely those of John P. Chladek, MBA, CFP®, President, Chladek Wealth Management, LLC.  Material presented is believed to be from reliable sources and we make no representations as to its accuracy or completeness.  All information and ideas should be discussed in detail with your individual advisor prior to implementation.  Investment Advisory services are offered by Chladek Wealth Management, LLC, a registered investment advisory firm in the State of Kansas.  The presence of this web site on the Internet shall in no direct or indirect way be construed or interpreted as a solicitation to sell or offer to sell investment advisory services to any residents of any state other than the State of Kansas or where otherwise legally permitted.