So often during the holidays, people worry about over-extending their budgets or they feel bad that they can't afford the type of gifts they'd like to give. But to me, being generous isn't just about money. It's about being thoughtful and willing to share your time and knowledge as well as your good fortune.
Bottom line: It's called the holiday season, not the spending season. If you enjoy traditional gift-giving, shape your finances throughout the year to make it happen. If you are facing financial problems or simply want to make a change in old spending routines, share that information with loved ones.
The smartest, most successful, highly effective people understand how to distinguish and separate that which is critically important (and in their control) from that which ultimately won't make a critical difference -- or, is outside of their circle of competence and control. It's an important distinction.
There's a new date to put on your holiday calendar -- Giving Tuesday, the first Tuesday after Thanksgiving. Introduced in 2012 as an international day of charitable giving, the idea behind Giving Tuesday is to channel some of the spending energy that flows around Black Friday and Cyber Monday into giving energy.
As a kid, Austin Netzley remembered being enthralled with the concept of money and promising himself that one day he'd be wealthy. And now, at 28, by most people's measure, he is. He's been an athlete, student, engineer and entrepreneur. And at this point in his life, he considers himself "retired."
Keeping control of overall debt is an important part of financial planning no matter what your stage of life. But a flat statement about eliminating all debt in retirement may be too simplistic. That's because the amount of debt you can comfortably handle is very individual and depends on your bigger financial picture.