Got The Christmas Giving Blues? Take the Christmas Budget Challenge

From the Desk of Clearissa Coward’s Command Center

Got The Christmas Giving Blues? Take the Christmas Budget Challenge

From the Desk of Clearissa Coward’s Command Center

With Christmas just around the corner, our focus has shifted from our work commitments to Christmas fun and festivities. And hopefully, and with Christmas, activities comes the annual Christmas spending spree. Unfortunately, many families do not set a Christmas budget and they rely on their credit cards to get them through, a commercially considered successful Christmas season.

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Shortly after Christmas these same families will also develop symptoms of the “Christmas Giving Blues” which can include an upset stomach, lack of sleep and that dreaded anxiety.

You know that feeling. You spend up big, charge it on the card, and then spend the next couple of months worrying about how you are going to pay off your Christmas debts while vowing never to let this happen to you again.

Unfortunately, this is a reality for a lot of families every Christmas and they just do not seem to be able to break out of the cycle. And believe me, someone who was in that rut, it is a vicious cycle, not a good one.

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This year, give yourself and your family a Christmas gift and take the “Christmas Budget Challenge” and enjoy your Christmas without the suffering the Christmas Blues and without the after Christmas anxiety.

There are two parts to the Christmas Budget Challenge:

1. Put in place a strategy that will help you survive Christmas with as little pain as possible.

2. Put in place a strategy that will give you a plan to enjoy your next Christmas. This plan will also run itself without you even thinking about it.

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Let’s start by putting in place a plan that will hopefully make this Christmas a little easier on your purse and your family finances:

1. Have a look at your finances and set an upper limit that you can afford for your Christmas spending. Allocate a certain amount to Gifts and a certain amount to other Christmas expenses. This is the start of your Christmas budget.

2. Leave the credit card at home and pay for Christmas with money wherever possible. We tend to spend less when we use cash.

3. Keep track of all your Christmas spending. A good way of doing this is by carrying a small notebook and pencil and writing your purchases in it.

Gift Buying:

4. Call your relatives and agree that Gifts will only be purchased for the children

5. Take your Christmas Gift budget that was allocated in step 1 and divide it by the number of gifts you need to buy. This number will be the maximum you can spend on each gift. Sometimes I do this differently. Some years it depends on what my family members need. For example, my granddaughter (who is in college) needs two tires. That’s a safety issue so I will get her two tires and her mother will get the other two. So she will get a little more this year. So sometimes necessity will decide on how much is spent on everyone.

Christmas Food Shopping:

6. Take your Christmas Dinner budget and make a shopping list.

7. When you are doing your shopping use a calculator to make sure you stay within your Christmas budget (this is so helpful.

8. Save money by looking for the cheaper priced goods on the top and bottom shelves. Try not to buy items that are on shelves at eye level, these are usually the higher-priced items. And remember online shopping as well. And always use to always use Raukaten to receive money for buying things you would purchase anyway. It’s like free money. Sign up here

9. Try not to buy items that are located in the displays at the end caps, these items are usually more expensive than the items located in the aisles.

10. Compare prices of similar items and buy the cheaper item.

11. Remember that Christmas is only one day a year. You do not have to spend a weeks worth of grocery money on one day.

12. Ask each relative to provide a food dish, drinks or dessert.

As soon as Christmas is over and the pain is fresh in your mind. You need to take action and put in place the second part of the “Christmas Budget Challenge”. This next step will ensure that you have enough money for next Christmas

1. Add up all your Christmas expenses including gifts, food and any other costs.

2. Take the total of your Christmas expenses and divide it by the total amount of pays until next Christmas.

3. Open high interest bank account with the following attributes:

– No minimum starting balance
– Interest is accrued daily and billed monthly
– Interest rate on this bank account must be higher than the inflation rate
– No bank charges

4. Organize an automatic bank transfer from your bank account to your Christmas Budget account. This transfer will be on each payday for the amount you worked out in step 2. It is important that this is automated because most people will not stick to this plan if it is a manual process.

5. When next Christmas comes around withdraw your money and repeat the process again.

You can get a free excel “Christmas Budget Challenge” spreadsheet from http://www.my-wealth-plan.com/christmasbudget.zip. Use this spreadsheet as a template for your Christmas Budget,

This plan is very simple and surprisingly effective and you will be able to enjoy your next Christmas without the suffering the Christmas Giving Blues.

Happy shopping using a budget.

Enjoy another Christmas article here.

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2 thoughts on “Got The Christmas Giving Blues? Take the Christmas Budget Challenge

  1. Great tips – so many folks just go overboard. Planning is so important. Pinned and shared.

  2. You are the absolute best. Thank you Carol. I am so happy you are finding my tips useful. Hugs.

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