It’s November 7th. Know what that means? The Christmas shopping season is in full swing, and every marketer on the planet is trying to figure out what they can convince you to buy.
But here’s the thing . . .it’s up to you to make those purchases, up to you to decide where you want your hard-earned dollars to go, and completely your decision this Christmas as to how much you want to spend. You really do have control of your money! So, today’s the day to plan your Christmas Budget if you haven’t already.
Take a few minutes and determine a plan as to what you want to spend this year on Christmas ~ really. Don’t put it off until tomorrow, don’t plan to wait until the bills come rolling in next January ~ instead, decide exactly how you want your Christmas Budget to look in 2013.
Here are a few items to consider as you’re planning:
- Christmas Gifts for immediate family
- Christmas Gifts for not-so-immediate family
- Teacher Gifts
- Neighbor Gifts
- Christmas Cards
- Christmas Baking
- Christmas Giving (donations to charity, either monetary or donations of non-perishable items)
As I’ve shared before, my ever-so-organized husband creates a monthly budget for our family, and included in that is a certain amount each month that goes into our savings account for Christmas. It makes the Christmas Season so much less stressful for us, and I highly recommend it if you haven’t started that already! However if you don’t have that money set aside, I still think you need to determine what your budget is before going one step forward. (You need to set a goal just to keep things in focus!)
Here’s the thing: On January 31st, very few of the items that you’ve purchased for Christmas will have really mattered to someone, but any debt that you incur will undoubtedly add to your anxiety in the New Year. I absolutely love giving and receiving Christmas gifts, and love finding deals, but it’s not worth sacrificing my sense of financial well-being for a gift that will inevitably be stored in a closet. I know it’s hard, but setting your budget can transform your Christmas from a season of stress to a season of value when you decide what really matters.
So, go ahead . . . get to work! I’d love to hear any other tips you have for preparing your budget for the Holidays, so please feel free to leave a comment and share.