I’m off for the Thanksgiving holiday — my favorite time of year. I’ll be hanging out with family and friends, and hope that you do the same. There’ll be some fine guest posts from readers like you during my absence. In the meantime:

  • If you haven’t already, now is the time to set ground rules for your family’s holiday gift exchange. Will you be drawing names? Setting price limits? Giving gifts only to children? Be sure everyone’s on the same page for the Christmas season.
  • The day after Thanksgiving is “Black Friday” in the U.S. — a sort of ritualized shopping experience during which people can grab great deals. If you plan to take part, spend wisely. Shop with a list. Avoid debt. Don’t buy on impulse. As I’ve done for nearly a decade, I intend to observe Friday as Buy Nothing Day.
  • Holiday bonuses will soon be appearing in paychecks everywhere. I recommend spending a few minutes to decide what to do with the money. You don’t need to set a budget — though it couldn’t hurt — but at least make a plan for spending and saving. This year, part of my Christmas bonus will be used to pay off the last of my consumer debt (yay!), and the rest will be routed to my Roth IRA. I’m being smarter than in years past. (In 2005, all of my bonus went to comic books. Dumb dumb dumb.)

Have a safe and happy Thanksgiving. I’ll be back next Monday.

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