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NEWS | Oct. 9, 2020

M&FRC classes can help keep Grinch in check during holiday shopping

By Robert Goetz 502nd Air Base Wing Public Affairs

The financial stresses of the holiday season can often leave people with a Grinch-like attitude that sucks all the joy out of “the most wonderful time of the year,” but it doesn’t have to be that way.

Four upcoming virtual classes presented by Joint Base San Antonio’s Military & Family Readiness Centers will provide shoppers with ample opportunities to learn how to budget their money wisely and avoid the holiday blues.

The classes are “How to Survive the Holidays Financially” from 1:30-3 p.m., Oct. 16, at JBSA-Randolph; “Holiday Spending” from 9-11 a.m., Oct. 22 and Nov. 19, at JBSA-Fort Sam Houston; and “Saving for the Holidays,” from 2-3:30 p.m., Nov. 5, at JBSA-Lackland.

“One of the biggest mistakes consumers make when they go Christmas shopping is not having a plan,” said Sarah Henson, JBSA-Randolph M&FRC community readiness consultant. “Setting savings goals and spending limits is so important to achieve a happy holiday financially. It is so easy for holiday spending to spiral out of control if we don’t have a plan.”

During the classes, participants will learn to create their very own holiday spending plans, save on overall costs, and control spending while minimizing debt.

“This plan will help attendees account for all expenses involved in creating a happy holiday, one that doesn’t require adding debt that they can’t afford,” Henson said. “After learning about the importance of having a holiday spending plan, participants will be encouraged to examine their own monthly budgets to determine how much they can save toward funding their holiday spending plan.”

Alma Guivas, JBSA-Fort Sam Houston M&FRC community readiness consultant, said creating a plan will help class participants keep their holiday spending within budget so they can save money and avoid getting into debt during the holiday season.

“We are providing tips and guidance on how to have a financial stress-free holiday,” Guivas said. “We want to prevent that financial burden that comes after the holidays. The best gift you can give yourself or your family is to be debt-free for the coming year.”

Henson said participants will be encouraged to collaborate with each other to discuss ways to save money on their holiday purchases, share holiday spending success and regret stories, and talk about the things they would like to do differently this year. 

“We will also address how the current COVID-19 guidelines may impact your family traditions and brainstorm ideas to overcome such challenges,” Guivas added.

For more information or to register for a class, call the M&FRC at JBSA-Fort Sam Houston at 210-221-2705; JBSA-Lackland at 210-671-3722; or JBSA-Randolph at 210-652-5321.