Yes, I'm going there. I know, I know, you are already annoyed that I'm talking about Christmas when summer is in full swing, but here's why I want you take a second and pause.
How are you going to pay for Christmas?
Read that again.
How are you paying for it? Is it cash or credit? Is this going to be another year that goes by without having your $hit together and go further into debt?
There is a better way...and its simple...and it can start RIGHT NOW!
Take how much you plan on spending on Christmas and divide it by 6. Why 6? Well that's how many months you have to save. So if you normally spend $1000 at Christmas, that means that from July - Dec you need to save $167/month. If you get paid twice a month, then divide that monthly number by 2 and set aside $83.50/pay.
Don't have $167/month to put aside for Christmas? Well then this next sentence might hurt but its something I need to say. If you can't afford the $167/m NOW, then you can't afford the $1000 Christmas. I know, that's a hard pill to swallow, but unless you are magically coming into money on Dec 24th, you need to plan for what is available today.
So what can you do? Well, you can set aside how much you can afford each month, and start making your lists NOW of who you are buying for and how much you can afford to spend on them. Look into homemade, thoughtful items. Have a conversation with your loved ones and ask them not to buy you anything as you are trying to stick within your budget this year. I'm sure they will THANK YOU for this invitation to also save some money.
If Covid19 has taught me anything, it's that we already have enough.
We. Have. Enough.
It's TIME with loved ones that we want. So I plan on slashing my Christmas budget even more than before (We usually spend about $800 at Christmas, which includes travel and hosting) and having conversations with loved ones in this very same way and offering my home as a place to gather instead of buying another gift.
Please save yourself some financial stress this year, make a sinking fund (this is what a sinking fund is...saving a monthly amount for something that is a known, yet not a monthly expense throughout the year).
I really hope you do this exercise. I can almost guarantee you that by purchasing your gifts with already saved money, is one of the best presents you can give yourself...and your family.
Yours in financial health,