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Kim Butler

Partners for Prosperity, Inc.

City:Mt. Enterprise

State: TX

I have 20+ years of handling alternative investments in cash, growth and income for clients nationwide.  I strive to help my clients with all things financial in every way possible over the phone and the web.  I own an alpaca farm which I enjoy working during my downtime.  I also enjoy gardening, writing and reading books.  I also train other advisors on Prosperity Economics.

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Saving, Spending and Debt: A Christmas Story

The holidays are no time to abandon your frugal ways, according to Millionaire investors who attribute their wealth in large part to their ability to pinch a penny.

| BY Adriana Reyneri

The holidays are no time to abandon your frugal ways, according to Millionaire investors who attribute their wealth in large part to their ability to pinch a penny.

Just 4 percent of Millionaires surveyed by Millionaire Corner in September indicate they’re willing to take on debt this holiday season. That’s no surprise considering previous Millionaire Corner research which shows that high net worth investors county frugality among their top four wealth building factors, along with hard work, education and smart investing.

About three-fourths (76 percent) of Millionaires plan to spend the same amount on gifts as they did last year, but a small share (8 percent) plan on spending less. What are their top three reasons for trimming spending this holiday season? About 38 percent say they have less disposable income, 29 percent indicate the holidays are “too commercialized and should not be about gifts,” and 27 percent feel the economy is getting worse.

Want to follow in the frugal footsteps of Millionaires? Here are some tips from consumer advocates and dollar-stretching experts:

  • Determine what you can afford and stay within your budget: “Don’t borrow money for you holiday spending,” urges the Consumer Federation of America (CFA) in a recent advisory. “Borrowing includes putting charges on our credit cards that you can’t pay in full when you get the next bill.”
  • Minimize travel to save time and money: “Plan your shopping sothat you make as few trips as possible. Use the bus if you have good urban transit,” advises Virginia Brucker, contributor to The Dollar Stretcher. “Take a friend shopping so only one car is used. You'll enjoy spending time together while you shop. Phone ahead to see which stores have the item you are looking for.” You can also save money on gas by shopping by phone and online, the CFA said.
  • Shop Smart: It pays to comparison shop for the best price and look for free shipping offers, advises the CFA, but a popular item advertised for much less than the suggested retail price could be a “danger sign of fraud.” Brucker, of The Dollar Stretcher, urges consumers to think carefully about the gift they are considering. “Is it truly something the recipient needs or wants? Consider pooling your resources with other family members in order to give one really special gift,” she says.
  • Go green. “Pre-owned” gifts can be just as good as new, said the CFA. Dollar Stretcher contributor Melanie Farkas recommends giving “experience gifts” that involve an activity to share with a loved one.  Suggestions include a craft activity with a child or a baking day with friends. Outdated maps, recycled cookie tins and baskets can make attractive gift wrapping.
  • Help others save money: “You can’t go wrong with gifts that help defray people’s every day expenses,” says the CFA. Gift givers can help loved ones shore up their own finances and avoid debt with gift certificates for items they would normally purchase, such as gas and groceries. Debt-adverse Millionaires would definitely approve.