Meaningful Within Your Means

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Last month we told you about our plan to avoid the Griswold Family Christmas and have a meaningful holiday within our means this year. Two weeks later, we wanted to check in with a bit of a status update, now that we’re thankfully past Thanksgiving and Black Friday. Our goal is to enjoy family and friends, and not get stressed out over the expenses that come with the holidays this year.

For Thanksgiving my wife and I decided to drive to my brother’s house on the eastern shore of Maryland. It’s about a 2.5 hour trip each way, and we did it all in one day with a borrowed vehicle. That eliminated travel expenses and the cost of a hotel room, and we were able to spend a long day with 9 of our closest relatives for the cost of the two pies we brought with us to share. For Christmas we’re planning to utilize airlines miles to book a hotel room, to allow even more time spent with family without spending a dime.

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On the way home we made one quick stop at a store and purchased the perfect gift for another family member with a gift card and a hefty discount. We purposely avoided the crush of shoppers waiting in line on both Thursday and Friday, and instead opted to spend more time with family, watching football, eating leftovers, and genuinely enjoying the holiday. This year we plan on making gifts for loved ones, and re-purposing items we have around the house to allow us both to save money and clean-out.

How about you? Have you been successful so far in Suntrust Bank‘s challenge to make your holiday meaningful within your means? They have created an awesome Holiday Planning Guide of ideas and advice to help get your started and have even more information available at We looking forward to a holiday full of creating and doing more while spending and consuming less.

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At SunTrust Bank their purpose is lighting the way to financial well-being. They want to help you reduce holiday stress through tools, advice, and inspiration that encourages you to make your holidays meaningful by spending within your means and focusing on meaningful experiences.

To get started visit

Meaningful spending made easy with our holiday planning guide. Download here

This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of SunTrust. The opinions and text are all mine.