Christmas is coming! That merry time of year that is filled with faith, family, food, and a little bit shopping.
The average American will spend about $700 on holiday purchases* and unfortunately many people will get a little surprise in the mail in January when the credit card bills start rolling in.
My mission is for all of us to sleep better in the new year knowing that there are no huge balances hanging over our heads. We will pay cash for Christmas this year and I want that for YOU too!
3 Smart Steps to Pay Cash for Christmas
1. Create a Budget
Your first step is to sit down with your spouse and family and brainstorm all of your holiday spending needs. Include gifts, but also travel, decorations, cards, stamps, parties, etc
Take advantage of my free budget excel spreadsheet that I offer to email subscribers. When your budget is complete, you’ll know how much you need for your holiday spending.
This excel spreadsheet can be used year after year, just change the year. If you remember your actual holiday purchases from last year, enter them in the two far right columns. If not, don’t worry and just leave that blank for this year and start budgeting your gifts for this year in the left columns.
2. Find the Money
Once you complete step #1, you’ll have an idea of how much money you will need. If you have been setting aside cash since last Christmas–kudos to you!
But if you are coming up short on cash for your upcoming Christmas spending, there’s still plenty of time to find the funds.
Or read my popular post: 10 Ways to Find Cash for Christmas.
3. Think outside the gift box.
Here’s a big secret that retailers don’t want you to know: Gifts don’t have to be expensive and in fact, they can easily be FREE. You just have to be creative. And if you have other things that you need to spend your money on, don’t let retailers and society in general make you feel like you must spend a lot of money on Christmas gifts.
Be creative and think outside the gift box with these free gift ideas:
Make holiday spending a part of your monthly budget planning and continue to use the budget spreadsheet throughout the year. I make notes on gift ideas when they come to me on my spreadsheet so I’m ready when the season begins. I rarely buy Christmas gifts throughout the year, but I do set aside gift money each month and come Thanksgiving, I have enough money to fund Christmas.
Have you started planning for Christmas? Do you feel behind or stressed about the upcoming holiday expenses? Take these steps and have a Debt Free Christmas. How do you save for Christmas spending? Let us know in the comments.
top photo credit