How do I keep from going into debt this Christmas season? Check out these tips from my recent Financial Friday video!
It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas, in fact, we’ll blink and this wonderful season will be over and if we’re not careful we’ll still be paying for our Christmas gifts and cheer long into the new year. I want to share some tips with you on how to avoid taking on debt as you plan your Christmas shopping each year.
First, don’t feel obligated to give a gift, especially an expensive gift, to your children, family, friends, co-workers, and colleagues. I don’t believe there is anyone out there who wants to receive a gift that causes you to suffer stress on how you’ll pay for it. There is so much more to this season than gifts. Find inexpensive ways to show your love and appreciation with things and ways that won’t put you into debt.
Second, as a teacher and follower of Dave Ramsey’s financial steps, I recommend writing a list of everyone you want to give a gift to for Christmas. Include everything from Christmas cards and the stamps to send them, to the box of chocolates you plan to take your co-worker, to the ham for Christmas dinner. Then, write each gift down as you purchase it, so you don’t forget what you bought. I find that I’ll buy something and forget that I bought it, then stress to get something else for the person I already bought for or my husband bought the gift and I forget to write that down. Tracking what you buy with a plan will not only keep you focused, but it will give you a true budget number for the following Christmas.
And finally, cash is king! Make your Christmas budget and stick to it. I use an envelope for cash purchases with the amount of money I have allocated for the season. With online shopping so common today, you’ll want to make your budget and split the amount up between cash purchases and online purchases.
It may be too late for this Christmas season to implement all these steps, but I recommend that you write everything down that you purchase, with the cost and for whom, so that you can make a 2021 Christmas budget now, divide it by 11 months and then save that amount each month, so you aren’t hit so hard financially next Christmas. For example if you find that you spent $375 this year for Christmas, divide that by 11 and save $35 a month, so you can start shopping in December with a plan and peace. I believe this will help you keep the JOY in your holidays! Merry Christmas from all of us at RE/MAX Capitol Properties!
Watch my video HERE.