Here we are one week before Thanksgiving.

This year, many families are going to feel better about getting together to celebrate the holiday. Last year was one almost everyone would like to forget. Travel concerns related to COVID-19 wrecked most people’s plans, and some just had fear of gathering in groups.

Now, we are starting to get to near-normal times.

One thing that I hope is not the “new normal” is inflation.

We have seen some of the highest increases in prices in the last 30 years. The cost of a Thanksgiving dinner is reflecting those increases. There are many different estimates of how much this meal will cost this year. Many estimates are around 21% more than last year. That is frightening.

The price of a turkey is up about 8% from last year. If you will be serving ham, the price is up almost 62.5%. Cranberries are up 28%, while potatoes are little more moderate at 8%.

Thank goodness, corn and sweet potatoes are slightly lower this year. Plan on spending more this year, but you are probably not all that surprised if you have been grocery shopping recently. Don’t forget if you are traveling by car that gasoline prices are up more than $1 a gallon from last year.

Putting inflation aside, there are probably many things to be thankful for. Unfortunately, many families suffered during the pandemic. If your family made it through safely, you should be thankful for that.

Many grandparents have not seen grandchildren much during the health crisis. When families get together it is a chance to instill values in younger generations. Children learn things from parents and grandparents. Thanksgiving may be a good time to teach money values to the younger family members.

Christmas is only a month away. People need to know how much they can afford to spend. If you charge everything and go into debt, the presents cost much more than the price tag. We have become a society that wants immediate gratification, and sometimes have trouble distinguishing between wants and needs. Having a budget is probably a good idea.

When the pandemic began, many people did not have sufficient emergency money. There were estimates that one-third of the citizens in the country could not come up with $400 without borrowing. It is also important to teach older children the importance of saving for retirement. The Baby Boomers were the first generation where many retirees did not receive a pension from their employer. If you start saving sooner, your balances will be much higher. Albert Einstein called compound interest the eighth wonder in the world.

Readers often request I discuss this subject. To help, e-mail me at and I will e-mail you a 10-page life guide, “Money Doesn’t Grow on Trees…Teaching Kids About Money.” It discusses topics such as when to give children an allowance, preparing for the cost of college, charitable giving and much more.

Don’t miss the opportunity this holiday season to teach and enrich the financial lives of those you care about. Your influence can make a difference.

Your Financial Future is written by certified financial planner Gary W. Boatman, MBA and CFP, who also wrote the book, “Your Financial Compass: Safe Passage Through The Turbulent Waters of Taxes, Income Planning and Market Volatility.”

If there is an area that you would like to see discussed in the column, send your suggestions to

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