We are literally just days away from the barrage of Christmas commercials trying to convince you to spend…and spend and spend.
The highest attended Financial Peace University class I coordinate happens in January. So what causes people to actually decide to finally get a grip on their finances?
A lot of times I’m told the final straw was their credit card statement for Christmas.
It’s people with the best of intentions getting out of control, spending with no thought whatsoever; and now they’re paying the consequences. But what are you supposed to do? Kids want gifts, you want to give them gifts, and let’s be honest – it’s awesome seeing your spouse’s eyes light up when they open that surprise gift that you just had to buy.
So how can we have a great Christmas without regretting it come January? Here are a couple of ideas:
PLAN – Plan on Christmas happening in less than two months (yeah, it’s coming fast!) and realize that it always happens in December. It’s NOT “an emergency”.
SAVE – If you haven’t already, start saving NOW. Then NEXT year…save earlier. This means those five times you want to eat out this month may need to wait so you have enough money for gifts.
BUDGET – When people hear “budget” they usually think “restriction,” but a budget is you merely telling money where to go. Decide how much you can or will spend and stick to it.
BE CREATIVE – Make your own gifts this year. Use Pinterest for ideas, or make a game of it with your spouse (who can be more creative without spending too much). Give a gift more of the heart than of the wallet. Got kids? Like kids? How about a neighborhood babysitting swap? Or there’s that Goodwill corner of your closet that could get you some serious cash on eBay. Sell away!
I’m not telling you to be cheap this year. I hope you’ll think, plan, save, and use some discernment so that Christmas is merry… and you don’t regret it come January.
Care to share more great ideas on how you will be creative and save money this Christmas? Let me know!