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Budgeting for Your Turkey Dinner

It is a time for giving, a time for joy, a time to reflect on everything we are thankful for; but not a time for a cash advance. Planning for a holiday feast can be quite cumbersome when finances are limited. The heartfelt meaning behind holiday gatherings gets lost in the shuffle of marketing tactics. They want to make a host believe that the feast is not complete without spending crazy amounts of money for one meal. Planning ahead is the best way to make the holiday festivities joyous without breaking your budget.

How can you prevent the need for holiday cash advances?


  • The best preventative action you can possibly do for your finances anytime of the year is to have a savings account and give as much as you can each week. Use what you need, then work at replacing what you withdrew.
  • Cut back on the “extras” for a few weeks and put the money you would have spent on a latte or fast food lunch into the “Holiday meal jar” or savings account.
  • Many meal items come frozen or prepackaged. Start buying a few of these items each prior week to spread out the total cost of the meal.
  • Look for coupons or watch for sales on these festive dinner items. Some stores do double coupon days!
  • Split up the burden and assign meal items to friends and family who will be coming over. Most guests will ask to bring something. Take some of the “other” items off your list by delegating ¬†drinks, rolls, desserts or paper products. Mashed potatoes and gravy do not travel well, so you may want to keep those types of items for your kitchen.
  • Don’t feel like you have to outdo prior years. Everyone has gone through some sort of financial troubles and your friends and family will understand.


Take advantage of the help. This is a time for giving and being thankful. Fun with family and friends does not carry a price tag so so what you can without causing problems for your finances.

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