October 16, 2013

Budgeting for Christmas NOW {Christmas on the Brain}

OK, I hate to admit it, but I have Christmas on the brain!

I'm not decorating the house and listening to Bing Crosby yet, but I'm definitely thinking about the upcoming season.  {Secretly... I'm really in the mood to start decorating for Christmas.}

Here's why I'm thinking about Christmas...

Last year was the first Christmas {Holiday Season} in a long time that I actually enjoyed.  I didn't feel stressed.  I didn't feel rushed.  I didn't feel burdened.  It was great.  I was able to sit back and enjoy the people in my life and what Christmas means to me.

Last year I was prepared...prepared in so many ways, but one of the biggest was financially.

We budgeted for all of our Christmas shopping last year.

After Christmas was all said and done, there was no buyer's regret.  We were able to get the gifts the kids really wanted.  There were no upcoming credit card bills looming over our heads to remind us of the gifts we had given.  We had PEACE!

I plan to have that peace again this year and to enjoy myself, enjoy my family, enjoy the season.

Here's how...

Start budgeting NOW.  Don't wait until Thanksgiving day or later to start saving and budgeting.

Make a list of everyone you need to buy for and set a limit on how much you are going to spend for each person/gift.  This way you will know how much you need to save {better yet, how much you really can afford or actually want to spend}.

Skip "Black Friday" shopping!  Seriously, I said it.  There are deals just as good if not better on the same products leading up to Christmas.  Sleep in, spend the day with your kids, spend the day relaxing, spend the day having fun...fun is not going to a store and getting trampled, shoved, or elbowed by rude, greedy people all in the name of a DVD player, bed sheets, crock-pot, or clothes that will be clearanced out within a couple weeks {I worked in retail for years and saw it all...}.

Plan to do all of your shopping with CASH.  Going shopping with hard earned cash makes you think twice {or three times} about what you're buying and the amount that you're spending.

Have a game plan.  Make a list of each person you're buying for, the dollar amount, and what you want to buy for that person.  Shopping and wandering aimlessly for the perfect gift to pop out at you rarely turns out well.

Being prepared for the season and not "breaking the bank" makes life and family much more enjoyable.
Most importantly remember that Christmas is not about the gift bought and wrapped up under the tree...it's not about the dollar amount you spent, or the number of people you gave gifts to...

How do you plan for your holiday and Christmas spending?  Do you have any great tips to share?


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