Friday, January 18, 2019

January Credit Card Blues ~ Let's Start Saving For Christmas Now & Why

Is the spending from the Christmas season starting to catch up with you now in January?  Are you feeling the stress of the credit card bill?

I haven't talked a lot about finances and budgets in my blog posts before, but I want to start sharing some perspectives on them that you may not have thought of or heard of.  Or maybe you have heard of, but you just never got yourself set up and taking the first step.

Let me tell you this, setting up a budget and finances doesn't have to be tough.  The more you do it, the easier it gets, the less stress there will be, and you will begin to set up some long term possibilities that will actually feel good, but you have to start.

I will also tell you, we don't use a credit card.  What? Gasp!  Yes, day to day living and even holiday spending can be done without a credit card.

We utilize the Dave Ramsey methods for saving, spending, giving and bills and debt.

For now, I am just going to focus on holiday spending.  However, first know that if you do have a credit card, being caught up on all your payments is important.  You need to, I repeat need to, have all the basic needs covered.  If you are caught up on all credit cards and you have the basic needs covered, then you can start setting up ways to save.

When it comes to saving, personally, I would start by creating an emergency fund.  It covers for the when it happens in our life.  Because inevitably something will come up, not if it will come up and it is better to be prepared.

Once you have a good foundation, you can spread out your savings.

Let's focus on Christmas time and starting to save now.  Start now.  But how you wonder.

Each paycheck set aside a predetermined amount of money.  We set aside $20 per paycheck.  You can set it aside in a separate savings account or you can pull the money of check as cash and save it somewhere at home.

Then when it comes time to begin shopping for your gift giving season you will have set aside money and ready.

Now here's the thing, use that money for your gift shopping, but also you need to be intentional about it.  Don't go over the amount you have.

Before you begin your spending, make a list of everyone you will be getting a gift for.  Then look at how much you have set aside total.  Decide then how much per person you will spend.

You can spend it all or if you have any leftover save it for next year.  But don't spend beyond what you have saved.  If you go over on one gift from what you planned, then you are going to have shift somewhere down the road and adjust the spending on others.

Remember, gift giving is not about the amount it cost or quantity of items given.  It is about the thought and being meaningful.

After the rush, the joy, the fun of it all passes and Christmas is done you will find yourself in a much different spot in January.  Hopefully a little less stressed, less worried, a little more peaceful, and more at ease.  Because you won't have that  post Christmas credit card bill coming in the mail.

We have been doing this type of saving for a long time.  The saving reason may change over time, but we have found so much more joyful and fun in it all knowing we won't have the post Christmas credit card blues.

I remember our first Christmas after a year of saving.  We had so much fun picking out presents, enjoying our time shopping, not feeling rushed.  We even had some extra at the end of our spending that we decided to go for a round two.

Now, we have more gift giving as we have two kiddos as well.  But our plan hasn't changed.  We still set aside the money, then at Thanksgiving we look at how much we have, list out who we are gifting to, and start budgeting.  And yes, now with kids we add in a Santa amount.  So it's extended family, friends, the four of us, and Santa times 2 (because we have two kiddos).  This year our kitty cat was added to our list when the kids asked if we could get him some new toys.

So when I say, list everyone out, I mean everyone you plan on gifting to.  It is also a good idea to plan in some extras.  Because it never seems to fail you decide to give a gift that you may have been anticipating.  But if you plan in an extra 2 or 3, then you can go with the flow and relax just that much more.

Here's to Christmas next year and beating the credit card blues in January!

Start saving today!

Who is going to start their gift fund?

If you do have a savings plan, share below how you go about it all.

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