The new school year is well under way and the holidays are approaching.  For us, this means we are back in the Game with the ThriveTime Challenge!

This annual financial literacy program benefits students and schools by combining opportunities for financial education, educational resources and awarding scholarship funds.  To date we have reached over 7,000 students in Arizona and as teachers look to implement their own ThriveTime events, this new level of ownership for the program provides opportunity to expand that reach even more.

Are you looking for yearend giving opportunities?  Or ways to get directly involved?  The ThriveTime Challenge program is a great way to give the gift of financial education!  Learn more about how you can get involved here.

In addition, here are ways you can support financial literacy for yourself and your loved ones during the holiday season and help your family avoid the post-holiday blues.

  1. Remember what the holidays are all about.  I love to give gifts and see the excitement when they are opened and it is easy to get wrapped up in finding the best deals and giving the best gifts.  Even better though is the time I get to spend with my family during the holidays.  We all have such busy lives and this time of year brings us all together.  That is the best gift of all.
  2. Give a little perspective.  For kids who are bombarded with advertisements via all forms of media, it is difficult not to feel like they are supposed to ask for all kinds of new and novel items during the holidays.  Most don’t stop and think about the financial impact of all those wants.  This is a great time of year to employ our ThriveTime for Teens board game as a third party, neutral tool to help those young people in your life understand the ins and outs of managing personal finances and making money decisions, in a fun and engaging way.
  3. Set 2014 up for success.  Year-end reflection and New Year resolutions are always on my mind this time of year.  You can set your loved ones up to establish healthy and reasonable goals with a little guidance from experts all over the country with Save Wisely, Spend Happily.  The information in this book is invaluable and a perfect gift right before the New Year.
  4. Share the gift that only you can give.  This time of year, the needs of others become more evident than ever.  Share a bit of yourself through volunteerism and not only will you benefit someone else, but you will feel great as well.  The personal satisfaction that comes with knowing you touched someone’s life is an incredible feeling and allows the spirit of gratitude and service to grow.
  5. Give yourself permission to stick to a budget.  No one wants to think about budgeting during the holidays…but without one you may end up with holiday remorse!  Create a budget and give yourself permission to stick to it.  You will feel great when those bank statements and credit card statements hit your inbox or your mail box and they say exactly what you expect.  Not only that, but your family will be grateful that you don’t have the added stress of figuring out how to recover from a holiday shopping season gone awry.

While we all look forward to those holiday breaks, our credit cards and bank accounts are working overtime.  Set yourself and your family up for a positive financial year end and it will be the gift that keeps on giving well into 2014.

Whether you are looking for that perfect holiday gift, or tools to stay on track this time of year, we’ve got you covered.  I wish you a happy and healthy holiday season!

To your success!

Sharon Lechter