Countdown to Christmas

Countdown to Christmas

Yes – you read it right – Christmas!  It may be 85 degrees but it is only four months away from Christmas!  If you are paid every other week that means you have 8 paychecks before the big gift giving day.  Yes – 8!  How much do you plan to spend for the holidays?  $500, $1,000, do you have any idea?  For example, if you want to have $500 to spend – that means you must set aside $63 each check starting NOW.  Ideally, the best time to start saving is the first pay period after Christmas; however, if you didn’t do that, NOW is the time to begin.

To make sure you are setting aside enough money for the holidays start with a list that contains the following:

Down the left side of your paper

  • Who you will buy for – don’t forget teachers, charities, people from work etc.
  • If you go BIG on decorations or BIG on holiday entertaining, you may want to list these items also.

Columns down the right side of your paper

  • How much you intend to spend on each person or activity?
  • Gift ideas – jot them down as you think of them so that you can plan ahead to find the best deal on that item.

Once this list is established, you will have a better idea of how much you need to save.  If the figure that you come up with is too high, now is the time to adjust and think of less expensive alternatives.

By planning ahead you can take advantage of sales, buy things with cash or lay-away and avoid the dread of opening up a credit card statement in January.  There is great peace of mind knowing you didn’t create debt, to purchase the gifts you wanted to give.

Peace of mind during the Holidays is possible, with a little planning NOW.  The cold will be here before we know it.  The increased activities and the hustle and bustle of shopping, is just around the corner.  If you’ve never planned ahead before, why not let this year be the first?   I’m willing to bet that you will like it!  Happy Holidays!

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