Letters to the Editor

Follow a strict holiday budget

Being a banker for more than 30 years has taught me little about not disappointing my loved ones during the holidays, or worse, letting my children think that Santa Claus forgot about them. What banking has taught me is that we must set expectations and goals, and create a plan that includes children and parents working together to finish the year strong, so we can start the new year on the right financial footing.

While the next few weeks will bring family gatherings, great food and beautiful gifts, the last thing a family should face is more debt come January. Having a clear picture of monthly spending is essential for a family's financial well-being, especially during the holidays.

Before Black Friday or any other typically high-spending day, make a plan that allows the family to enjoy the holidays without compromising long-term financial goals.

If you need help for staying on track, the United Way Center for Financial Stability offers free assistance to working families. Branches operates the center, and its financial coaches take a holistic approach to a family’s finances — they review everything and then offer knowledge, tools and resources to empower families to take positive steps toward their goals. These free services are offered year-round.

United Way and Wells Fargo are passionate about financial education because it is one of the most effective strategies in strengthening families and helping them succeed.

This holiday season, think of what’s important — family, love, laughs, health, education and prosperity. Make a family plan that includes spending less during the holidays so the family can take a great vacation in 2016.

Whether you can support the center and its work to empower families or need the center’s services, find out more by calling 305-688-3551.

Jorge Villacampa, board member, United Way of Miami-Dade, Miami