Some people love to go Christmas shopping and others….not so much. How about you? Where do you fit in? Do you know why you love it or why you hate it?
Now, I am not a fan of ANY shopping, but Christmas shopping is on the bottom of my list. I prefer to make all of my gifts. But, for the guys in my family, that can sometimes be a bit challenging. They don’t get really excited about cute chapstick holders or Santa votive holders. I can’t really figure out why – they are so darn cute! haha!
But, one reason that I don’t like to Christmas shop is because I don’t shop through-out the year so I see all of these new and exciting things….that I ‘must have’. Or, if not for me, for my kids? My mom? Would my sister love it too? And I find myself caught up in all that impulse buying….and I end up spending way too much. And, sometimes over my budget. Does over spending happen to you too or am I the only one?
Just for you, I did a bunch of research on why Americans spend too much at Christmas.
They don’t budget enough money
They have too many impulse purchases
Their recipient lists are way too long
They think their kids MUST have everything on their lists because they don’t want them to be disappointed
But, the joys of Christmas are long gone when the bills come due.
According to Varo Money, in 2017 (I could not find 2018 data) the areas Americans go over budget are:
Last minute gifts – 36%
Regular Christmas gifts – 27%
Holiday food – 27%
Decorations – 17%
Holiday outfits -16% (how about all of those matching pj’s that no one will ever wear again)
Shoppers put their purchases on credit cards. The average holiday debt, in 2017, was $1054. A 5% increase over 2016. 5% of shoppers put $5000+ on their cards. Magnify Money also said that 1/2 thought they would pay off their debt in 3 months or less. Of the remaining half, 29% said they will pay it off in 5 months or more, accruing extra interest along the way. And, 10% of the shoppers said they would make the minimum payments of $25 a month.’ What? $25 a month!
What does that mean in actual dollars paid?
$1054 charged (assuming the balance was zero to begin with) at a 17.14 interest rate (average rate) paying only $25 a month – it will take 65 months to pay off that debt for a total of $1625. That is $571 in interest – 50% of the original purchase. AND that is over 5 years!
Does that make sense to you? Do you think paying all that interest is a good idea? PLUS….what happens when the next Christmas rolls around and then the next and then the next…..what would that payment even look like? It makes me shudder just thinking about it.
So, maybe you are asking yourself – How to you stay in your budget and NOT have credit card debt?
Avoid the impulse buying. Make a list and stick to it. (Or as close to it as possible).
Factor tax into every purchase – 7% + tax can certainly add up!
Prioritize your recipient list. Yes, buying a cute something for your dental hygienist is an awesome idea….but only if the money allows. Otherwise take her off the list.
Ask your kids to prioritize their lists – take them shopping so they know how much things cost. Tell them that everyone has a budget….even Santa. ‘How to Have a Debt Free Christmas’ has a few more tips & tricks. Kids have NO idea what anything costs – they just see it, like it and want it. (sound familiar?)
Keep in mind that holiday baking is also expensive. Maybe purchase your sugar throughout the year. Keep your baking simple. 4 good size chocolate chip cookies in a cute bag with a ribbon. Done!
One year my neighbor gave me a gallon jar of homemade chicken with rice soup – with a recipe tag. We loved it and I have done that for gifts ever since.
Do you have parties planned? Do you need a new outfit? Shoes? Earrings? Those items need to be part of your budget too.
And if you are planning on a party….maybe asks your guests to bring their own wine. And maybe an appetizer to share. Most peeps love to help out and share.
Would you like to eliminate the holiday credit card debt?
Pay cash? Depending on when you read this…it might be difficult to save up enough cash between now and the holidays. I would like to suggest, that on January 1st, you put a plan in place for that year. I promise you….your holiday season will be so much more fun with less stress and more emphasis on fun! I have a few budgeting tips and tricks for you too.
Staying within budget today totally eliminates the stresses of tomorrow. Does paying off credit cards for the 1st 3 – 6 months of the year sound like a good idea to you? Those payments also inhibit any other spending as well. And who in the heck wants that!
Enjoy your holidays! Hugs are great presents too! My husband likes handmade pictures (even from the older kids).
Wouldn't you like to live a joyful life?
Don't let let the circumstances of YOUR life determine who you really are? Choose YOU instead! Not sure how to do that? Let me help!
My 2022 Holiday Planner is just what you need to keep organized and on top of things during this busy season. And, it's FREE. INCLUDED - My Party Planner! Put your party hat on and plan with confidence! Grab yours before they are gone!
My 2022 Holiday Planner is just what you need to keep organized and on top of things during this busy season. And, it's FREE.
INCLUDED - My Party Planner! Put your party hat on and plan with confidence! Grab yours before they are gone!
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