Thursday, November 18, 2010

How To Have A Debt Free Christmas

A Danish Christmas tree illuminated with burni...Image via Wikipedia
For so many years I never planned or saved for Christmas. I either didn't buy very much or went heavily into credit card debt. Even after learning from my parents about saving for Christmas. They had something called the "Christmas Club" account over at their bank. They would save a little every week and by Christmas they would have the money needed to buy gifts.

I reached a point where I was sick of paying my Christmas credit card debt till August. You have to reach a point where your sick and tired of being sick and tired. That's when things will change.  I reached my point and reversed the behavior that got me into this mess. I began slowly to save a little out of each paycheck. They were small amounts of $10 a week.  Soon I didn't miss the $10 and kicked it up to $15 a week and then $20. Over the course of the year my account filled up and Christmas was a success.

I have been doing these things for 15 years now. Preparing for something in the future today so you don't have a crisis in the future. The money is there waiting for me. I do the same with my property tax and home insurance. Every week  an amount is saved for these future bills.

Saving for Christmas is only half the battle. Now it's time to plan your gift giving with a budget. Make a list of the friends and family you need to purchase a present for. After each name indicate the amount you want to spend. Add up the total amount you need. If your on below the amount Christmas savings account then your fine. If you are over either increase savings or eliminate the amount needed per person or shorten the list.

Now that you have your plan it's time to layout your shopping strategy. You must set a specific time to shop. Making. A schedule will get you organized and psyched out to accomplish the task. List what stores you will go to and the amount of time you will spend there. If distracted by a sale, quickly access the benefits and then get back on track. This isn't a window shopping experience; be careful not to buy anything for yourself. As you complete each purchase write down what you buy, for who and how much you spend. Be sure to shop early and only use the cash you have saved. Using credit cards is off limits. You will distracted many times while in the store, it's their jobs to get you to make unplanned purchases. Finish your list and get out of there.

When your finally finished you can be proud of yourself because this may be the first year in your life you stuck to a budget and enjoyed a debt free new year.


2 comments:

  1. Right there with you on saving.
    Christmas shopping is in full swing:>)

    ReplyDelete
  2. Loving the savings,too. Crowds light so far, enjoy it while it lasts.

    ReplyDelete

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