Does the holiday season seem to catch you off guard…every single year, even though Christmas is December 25 EVERY YEAR?
Or, have you JUST finished paying off your bills from last Christmas and here it is…again?
So, how does a debt-free and less stressful Christmas season sound to you? Great, right?
You need to start saving money for Christmas….today. Like in right NOW. It does not matter if Christmas is 3 months or 12 months away…it's never too early to begin saving.
The longer you wait, the more you have to set aside each month. Let's say you need $1200 for everything during the holidays (gifts, new outfits, baking, decorating, parties, eating out, etc). That's $100 a month if you start saving in January. That is $400 a month if you are reading this on September 25. So, start saving NOW.
My ‘Holiday Budget Planner‘ is hot off of the press and is now included in my ‘Joyful Living Toolbox‘. It is a budget planner and a great resource for you. To grab the Planner just click on the image below.
In the meantime…
Take the following areas into consideration when you are preparing your budget –
Add it all up. Divide by how many months you have until Christmas. Can you afford that without going into debt?
No? What can you eliminate. A few questions to ask yourself?
This account is strictly for Christmas. Don't ‘borrow' from this account for anything else. If an emergency arises, and this is the only cash that you have, use it for your emergency. But, keep in mind, in order to have a debt-free Christmas….you now need to adjust your Christmas spending according.
Or, set aside your savings in a cash envelope. No idea what that is? You can learn about it right here ‘Cash Envelope System.'
Add Christmas Savings into your regular budget. Saving all year takes the sting out of the holiday season. Less sting = more enjoyment.
When you shop all year it takes the stress off the holiday shopping rush. And, if you are anything like me, those purchases get absorbed into your regular budget and you don't feel the expense. PLUS, when you shop all year you can take advantage of all of the sales that you see all year.
Once you know how much money you need you can make a plan. You can adjust your list and your spending or you can adjust how much you need to save each month.
Skip Starbucks for a few months (bring coffee from home). Don't eat out or go out for drinks. Cut a few coupons for the grocery stores. Stop all impulse purchasing. Go on and grab my ‘40 Ways to Save Money Now‘. It's a FREE download and has some great tips and tricks.
If you have NO idea what your budget is you will overspend. Make a plan and stick to your plan. Know who you are buying for and how much money you budgeted for that person. And yes, tax IS part of the expense.
1). Start a side hustle. Make some cash on the side.
2). Sell some things you no longer use. Someone I know renovated his living room and actually sold his old carpet on Facebook Market Place for $100!
3). Pet sitting. Offer to walk a few dogs over the holidays. Only takes a bit of time…and you can earn some extra money.
4). Get a part time job. SO many businesses need help right now. Work a few hours after work or on the weekends.
5). Check this out '20 Ways to Make Money Without a Job.' You might find some thing you can do.
And, you may want to consider these 10 money savings tips...so that you steer clear of holiday debt!
There are a TON of FREE things hanging around for you inside of Positively Jane. Check the all out right HERE!
One other tip is to start saving weekly rather than monthly. You can do this in a few ways.
Or…do all 3!
And remember…not all gifts need to be purchased at the store. My husband loves drawings. Found things. Just a little something is good for him. He understands that his kids are on tight budgets. For him, it's not about the gift…but about being remembered.
You may or may not know…but I encourage women to choose joy….everyday. Having a debt-free Christmas, in itself, will not create joy IN you. But it sure can eliminate the stress. And when the stress is gone…it is easier to focus on living a joyful life. So, what are you waiting for….start saving now!
In the meantime, go on and take a look at the ‘Top 5 Stress Reducers’ (Action Plan included). So that you can eliminate what causes you stress and get on the path of living a joyful life.
Ready to find out what Joyful Living is all about? Go on and check out these posts: