Another Christmas has passed by and while the memory of the Christmas shopping and spending is still lingering in my head, I've come up with a plan for all of us to start saving for 2013.
According to a recent survey, Americans were planning to spend on average $854 on Christmas gifts in 2012. Unless it's paid with cash, that is one hefty credit card bill come January. According to the Washington Post and a CreditDonkey survey, "a shopper who charges about $700 on a credit card with a 13 percent interest rate and makes only the minimum payments will spend four years whittling down the balance. The total interest paid will be nearly $200."
A cash Christmas equals:
- a stress-free Christmas
- a relaxing Christmas
- a "I don't have to worry, because I've saved money" Christmas.
- a "how are we going to pay for this" Christmas
- a stressful January and beyond
- arguments with your spouse
On the 25th of every month from January to November, I'll be holding a viral meeting for the Christmas Savings Club, a monthly accountability to help us save for a cash Christmas.
Before the first meeting on January 25th, there's a little bit of prep work to do on your end:
Step 1: Create a Christmas Gift Budget. I created one on Excel. If you would like a copy, please email me at familybalancesheet at gmail dot com.
On the budget, list all of your purchases for Christmas 2012 gifts and add up the total. Are you comfortable with that number? If you're spending was too far out of your comfort zone, make adjustments as you fill in the budget for 2013.
Step 2: Once you have a gift budget for 2013 that you are comfortable with, divide it by eleven. That is the number that you want to save each month between now and November 25, 2013.
Step 3: On the 25th of each month, we will be meeting (via a post) to discuss whether we hit our savings goal for the month. Each month, we'll come up with some unique ways to find/earn/save money to put towards our Christmas Savings Account.
January's Goal: Create your budget, divide by 11 and save your first month's goal. Stop back on the 25th and let us know how you did. If there is enough interest from other blogger's I'll have a linky, otherwise everyone can let us know how they did in the comment section.
Good Luck and let me know in the comments if you have any questions.
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