What’s Money Got to Do With It?

This time of year, spending tends to get out of control as we attempt to show those who we love, just how much using our $$$$ (paper or plastic).

For those of us trying to be reasonable, or just trying to be more mindful of what the holiday season is really about, here are some innovative ways to gift-give without breaking the bank.

1.  Give you what you do best.  Are you admired for your baking? Sense of style? Ability to fix things?  Why not give a gift that reflects that? Give a lesson in your talent, or a “coupon book” good for your services, or give one of your creations as a gift.  They will remember it always.

2. Create a Memory.  Plan a day or outing.  It can be elaborate (take in a show and dinner, for example), or it can be more budget-friendly — plan a lunch and go to a park or a museum.  Or, if you are a skilled photographer or story-teller, create a memory book.

3.  Touch the Heart.  For your loved ones who are care-givers, give them some care.  Pack up a basket with their favorite treats (food, magazines/books, etc.), or gift certificates to their favorite store, salon or restaurant.

4. Give what they really need.  Maybe you know a stressed out young couple, who could use a night away without the kids.  Offer to babysit as your gift.  Maybe you have an elderly friend who would appreciate having their groceries dropped off and unloaded.  Take a look around at their lifestyle and find what would truly be helpful.

5. Give to others.  For those who support charitable causes, go along with your friend and volunteer your time to the charity, or make a donation in the name of your friend.

Most important, know that the size of your love isn’t measured by the dollars you spend.  You have much more to give than that, and it is priceless.

Authored by: Anthony Dina Isola

Dina Isola, President of Real$martica, Inc. - COO and Director of Investor Relations, ATI Investment Consulting, Inc. Following a successful career in marketing communications in the financial industry, Dina and her husband, Anthony, founded a registered investment advisory firm, ATI Investment Consulting, Inc., and ultimately the idea for the educational company Real$martica, Inc. was born. In dealing with investors and hearing their concerns, she spearheaded ATI’s investor education efforts, coordinating with local libraries and townships to offer free investor education seminars. She has volunteered her time, writing financial articles and has conducted investor education classes geared to family financial matters. She is President of Real$martica, Inc. and is COO and Director of Investor Relations for ATI Investment Consulting, Inc. and personally handles all communications for both firms. She is active in her local business community and serves on the Brookhaven Business Advisory Council and is a member of the Three Village Chamber of Commerce. She earned a BA in English and Communications from Fairfield University. She is a registered investment adviser, and is a licensedreal estate salesperson in New York State.  Prior to founding Real$martica, Inc. she was a Vice President in charge of marketing communications for a privately-held investment management company in New York City.  She has worked in the financial industry since 1987. thumb_tony_isolasAnthony T. Isola,  President, ATI Investment Consulting, Inc. Anthony has married his passions, investing and education. He is President and founder of ATI Investment Consulting, Inc. (“ATI”) a registered investment advisory firm. His vast knowledge in matters of finance brings a well-rounded perspective to all that he does. As an educator, he has a natural ability to explain complicated economic and financial concepts and make the practical application of these concepts come to life. In working with clients, he recognized how overwhelming building a financial plan can be, especially when most investors are vulnerable due to their ignorance on financial matters. He prides himself on empowering investors to understand how to look out for their interests and not fall prey to financial arrangements that will take them off goal.  In addition to managing assets for clients, he has counseled investors on social security benefits, retirement income assessments, and college planning. He teaches history at Plainview Old Bethpage Middle School and oversees students’ participation in The Stock Market Game and financial literacy for the Plainview Old-Bethpage Central School District. He has taught financial related courses to children, parents and staff members in the district, as well as to Long Island residents. He holds a New York State Permanent Certification (in Social Studies). He earned a BA degree in Economics from Boston University and a MS degree in Secondary Education from Hofstra.  Prior to teaching, he worked as a foreign currency trader in New York City for large international banks.

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