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Eight Ways to Save This Holiday Season ‘Tis the season to be jolly, indeed, but with so many people feeling the pinch in a changing economy, finding ways to save this season without losing our holiday spirit is a must! Let’s explore eight great ways to celebrate for less: 1. Create a budget. Having a good financial plan for your holiday giving and gatherings is definitely the first step. Look at your current financial picture and decide what really is in your budget for gifts, food, decorations, etc. 2. Make a list and check it twice. Many families are considerably cutting their gift list this year. Try a plan to “just get for the kids” or drawing names from a hat so that everyone is responsible for just one family member, etc. With large, extended families or an expansive circle of friends — that one joint decision could make a world of financial difference! That, in itself, can be a great gift! 3. Skip the fancy wrap! Did you know that sometimes the wrapping on your gifts can add anywhere from $3-10 or more per item? Get creative and save by using the Sunday comics or get sheets of packing paper very inexpensively from local moving companies or U-Haul centers and let the kids decorate them with crayons or markers! Then simply cut to size for wrapping! Plus these are recyclable unlike shimmery wrapping. Look online for more great ways to wrap for less! Try, or search Google! It may just turn into a new tradition! 4. To send or not to send? Holiday cards are a wonderful way to stay in touch—but when budgets are tight the cost of cards and stamps can really add up. Consider alternatives such as email or homemade cards or even postcards which are less expensive to mail!

Kathy Becklin R(S) Keller Williams Realty Maui 1819 S. Kihei Rd. Ste D110 Kihei, Maui HI 96753

(continued on page2) 5. Make it yourself. Bake through your holiday list with gifts of cookies, muffins, or holiday breads. Consider a few inexpensive ‘heat and eat’ meals that friends or family can freeze! Not a cook? Try the “stitch in time…” approach and stitch up some sachets, dish towels, or ornaments. Beaded ornaments are easy to make as well and fun for the kids. Hit the internet and Google “homemade holiday gifts” and you’ll be amazed at all the great ideas waiting for you! Sometimes just acknowledging someone is the best gift ever! 6. Buy a family gift. Instead of buying individual gifts for some of those friends and family members on your list, consider putting together a gift basket or item the whole family can enjoy. Try a popcorn bucket or giant bowl from a dollar store, and add a few of your favorite movie candies, packets of microwave popcorn and some favorite holiday DVDs from the discount bin at your local stores for a fun family movie themed basket! 7. Be on the lookout! When the economy shifts, retailers understand that there is stiff competition for your dollars. Watch for money saving coupons, special offers and a lot of “buy one get one free” promotions. Now is the time to clip, snip and save! 8. Gift cards and certificates. While they may not be as personal—if you are running late this season, the cost of shipping bulky packages quickly often costs more than the presents themselves! If you have frequent flyer miles, you can often cash them in for gift cards. Consider gift cards or even online email-able gift certificates such as those available through, and you could literally save hundreds on postal costs. Saving doesn’t have to put a “Bah Humbug” in your holiday season. In fact, you may be surprised how many new traditions of togetherness and community you can discover when everyone works together to find creative solutions for holiday fun! Market Snapshot All Maui November 2008


Condominiums Units Sold 28 of 1699 Median Price $444,500 Days on Market: 173

4m -40% -18% 3%

12m -55% -22% -12%

Residential Units Sold 64 of 1135 Median Price $475,500 Days on Market: 118

4m -20% -8% 0%

12m -13% -11% -23%

Forecast: Condos: Declining Residential: Slow Decline-Stable See more at

Insights -- "How Do I know?" I’m often asked by clients, “How do I know if investing in real estate right now — or ever— is the right thing for my family?” That’s a good question with a lot of good answers and it is always my privilege to really look at what options are available. Real estate, like any other investment, is never a “one size fits all” opportunity. That’s why having a professional you can turn to for the resources, research and advocacy you can trust is essential. Even if you are not looking to buy or sell now, having a good idea of your bigger financial picture and what’s possible both short term and long is always a wise strategy. If you ever have questions or concerns about how real estate might be a good investment decision for your family, I’m happy to share with you how to make the most of that opportunity, especially in a buyer’s market. I invite you to call or email me today and we can set a time to weigh out all of your family’s options. So if you are ever asking yourself, “How do I know…” — know that I’m here with the answers!

Dollars & Sense Simple Solutions for Monthly Savings Holidays don’t have to be financial headaches when you remember the reason for the season and try a few handy savings tips: 1. Pay with cash. One clever idea that makes sense for a lot of shoppers is to take the budgeted amount for gift giving and put it in an envelope in cash. When the money is gone — the shopping is done! It might be extreme but it saves a lot in credit card interest fees and keeps you focused on not going over budget! 2. Celebration success. Instead of a big expensive formal holiday party, consider a night of appetizers and board games or holiday movies! Everyone pitches in with a dish, paper goods, drinks and more so that no one family or person bears the cost of the entire party! 3. Say “Cheese!” Handy with a computer? Have friends and family members email you 10 digital pictures each, create a “movie” slideshow and burn onto CD-Rs or DVDs. Add a crafty label and you have a terrific, thoughtful, memorable gift for everyone for just a few dollars (or less) each! Search for free trials of many different versions of photo slideshow software!

Stay tuned next month for more “Dollars & Sense!”

FREE INFORMATION Knowledge is power for today’s consumer. Having the right facts, tools and resources you can count on can go a long way towards ensuring your peace of mind and your family’s financial well being. Call me today for everything you ever wanted to know about: • Short Sales • Renting vs Owning • Tax Credit for New Homebuyers • Move Up Market FAQs • Investment Opportunities • FSBO First Aid • Relocating • And more... Call me today to get the answers you need for all your real estate questions at 808-344-0469 !

Kathy Becklin R(S) Keller Williams Realty Maui 1819 S. Kihei Rd. Ste D110 Kihei, Maui, HI 96753 Cell 808-344-0469

Just My Two Cents... What a great time of year—isn’t it? A chance to let go of the old and herald in the new and of course, count your blessings big and small. In times of stress and uncertainty, it’s comforting to surround yourself with friends and family and celebrate the people in your life. It’s true that this season is not about gifts or turkey or pumpkin pie. It’s about each other, the opportunity to say thank you to those we care about, to help those around us who need us now more than ever, and to serve as a reminder that the “golden rule” is still a great foundation for all of our lives. This season, allow me to say thanks to you and tell you how very much I appreciate the opportunity to be a part of your life and that of your family. I chose a profession that is rooted in service for that very reason and it is my pleasure to be of service to so many wonderful people in our community. I wish you the very best of holiday seasons and extraordinary memories ahead for the new year! Each Office is Independently Owned and Operated. An Equal Housing Opportunity Broker. If Your House is Currently Listed, This is Not Intended As a Solicitation. This newsletter is intended for informational purposes only. No reader should rely solely on the information contained herein, as it does not purport to be comprehensive or to render specific advice. ©1995-2008 ProspectsPLUS!®

Kathy Becklin R(S) Keller Williams Realty Maui 1819 S. Kihei Rd. Ste D110 Kihei, Maui, HI 96753 Cell 808-344-0469

Maui Real Estate Newsletter- December 2008  
Maui Real Estate Newsletter- December 2008  

Monthly publication featuring money-saving holiday tips and Maui real estate information. Provided by Kathy Becklin.