Christmas in July!


It was this time last year I recommended getting ready for Christmas and I think now is a perfect time for a reminder!

As prepare for a Merry Christmas, I recommend starting to celebrate now!

How do you ask?

Instead of paying off last year’s Christmas debt, the following year, I challenge you to make this year different.  

Instead of a post-Christmas season of regret . . . wishing the debt would just go away for gifts forgotten only a few weeks after the holidays!

Let's begin to prepare now!

Here are 7 tips for helping you avoid the holiday debt crunch!

1.   Develop a spending plan now. 

The reason I'm posting so early is so you will have time to plan and save. Here's the plan!

  • Make your shopping list NOW and choose how much you will spend on each person NOW.
  • Total that amount up and divide by the number of pay periods you have left before Christmas.  
  • Have this amount automatically taken out of your bank or check each pay period.  For example:  If you want to spend $1200 at Christmas and have twelve pay periods left before Christmas, then have $100 automatically transferred to savings each of the remaining pay periods.

2.   Consider a gift of service instead of buying a gift

  • Offer to babysit, wash a car, clean a home, etc.

3. Make instead of buying presents

  • Are you great with photography? Create a photo journal or frame one of your own photographs!
  • Are you handy in the kitchen? Wish them the sweetest holiday by making holiday treats or cookies.

4. If you have a large family, make an agreement with family to exchange names to buy one nice gift instead of gifts for everyone. 

Agree on the spending limit up front and play Dirty Santa! It always spices up our holiday fun!

5. Have a family garage sale to raise money for holiday shopping.  

 This is a great way to involve the kids. They can sell all those toys they just had to have last year but no longer play with now!

6. Shop with cash only and take your shopping list with you.  

Statistics show, people who shop with credit cards spend 38% more than they would with cash.  Spending cash forces us to make smarter spending decisions. 

7. Decide now not to apply for 'special offer' credit cards.  

Retailers will offer deals in return for you to apply for their credit cards.  Although the discounts sound beneficial, having too many cards and too much credit limit will have a negative impact on your credit rating.

Following these tips will allow you to focus on the true meaning of the season – to recognize and celebrate the birth of Christ.  

It's my prayer that you will join me in a commitment to having a Merry & Debt-free Christmas.

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