Christmas Preparedness

Christmas happens the exact same time every year. I know this, and you know this. So how is it that every year we get to the holiday and realize we don’t have money for Christmas. Instead we freak out, try to find deals, try to pick up extra hours or odd jobs to get together the cash we need, or we just put it all on the credit card and then we can deal with it later.

I am on a mission to help save us all from the dreaded post-holiday depression that comes from out of control and unplanned holiday spending.

It is almost November which means you have about 2 months to get the money you need for Christmas. You don’t have to buy the presents yet but you need to be putting the money aside now so it is there for you when it is time to buy.

You need to write a list of every person you are buying presents for this holiday season. Then next to everyone’s name you need to write the max amount of money you want/are able to spend on them. Then grab a calendar and count how many times you get paid before Christmas. When you are finished add up how much you need and divide by the number of times you get paid. That number is how much money you need to save from every paycheck, starting now, to pay for your holiday.

You need to be smart and realistic when you are choosing how much to spend on people. Children do not need you to spend a small fortune for them to have a wonderful holiday. If you are broke then you shouldn’t be buying yourself presents. You do not need to try to impress people with expensive gifts. You are not obligated to buy gifts for everyone you know. Take a look at your list and see if there is anyone you can discuss not buying gifts for. You may feel pressured to buy gifts for friends or co-workers even if you don’t want to because you feel like you need to. Just talk to them about it, chances are they would rather not have to purchase another gift either.

If you plan ahead this year you will be able to enjoy your holiday so much more! You can buy gifts without feeling guilty about reckless spending or overspending. You can buy gifts and not still be paying for them next Christmas. You can budget for the holiday and it’s as easy as 5 minutes of planning, simple addition and division. Then of course, having the self-discipline to follow through on your plan. Start saving now and you can have yourself a merry little Christmas.