Ever find yourself really wishing you had more time to get ready for Christmas... December just seems to SNEAK up on you? Well, maybe we can make a difference... together!

Friday, January 20, 2012

The "B" word.... I hate to say it....

BUT.... it is reality! That darn "B" word always comes to play when I start thinking CHRISTMAS... and trust me... I'm thinking CHRISTMAS!  (YES! ALREADY!.... aren't you???)

Anyway... I was going through some of my Christmas notes... and the darn "B" word came up - and I thought... well, I must face that darn "B" sooner or later - may as well tackle it now!  Yes, I'm talking BUDGET!  There I said it!  Does it freak you out as much as it does me????  Well, I may not have CONQUERED the "B" word but I'm getting closer... and I thought I would share a few things I have learned (from the notes I had) and some that I need to learn as well..... are you ready????

I'm sure that all of us are guilty of doing this... at least ONCE - and if you aren't GOOD FOR YOU!!!!! But.... many of us have thrown caution to the wind and just did what we "thought" would make everyone else happy.... and with that we often end up charging our Christmas purchases only to have to deal with the outcome during January... YIKES!!!  I'm here to tell you - THIS IS NOT A GOOD STRATEGY! ... why??? Well, because it only causes us more stress in the months to follow - and honestly, I have enough stress that just "COMES" to me I do NOT need to create more....  How many of us spend blindly?  Well.... NO MORE!!!  From this day forward - committ yourself to becoming the "B" word freindly!  Instead of spending our money blindly, we need to create a BUDGET... tell your money WHERE to go instead of it telling YOU where to go.... in order to do this - you need to decide "REALISTICALLY" what amount of money you can spend on Christmas ... and be sure to note that your CHRISTMAS budget is NOT just the gifts you buy!

Step 1:  REALLY look at what CASH you have on hand to spend for the upcoming Christmas season. If you start soon enough in the year - this is a much easier task to take control of. Be REALISTIC!

Step 2: Get your trusty little note book out and WRITE - yes WRITE down all the different hings you NEED to purchase for the Christmas season - Such as: Baking ingredients, Picture, Cards, Activities, Donations, Clothing, Hostess gifts, Entertaining foods, Decorations, Postage... etc.... Be sure to review your list and make sure that you didn't miss ANYTHING that you would normally purchase SPECIFICALLY for Christmas.

I'm sure you noticed that GIFTS was not listed ... that's because GIFTS need a sheet ALL to themselves!  On your GIFTS page (step 3) break down the types of gifts you give - such as - gifts for the home, gifts for immediate family outside of the home, gifts for extended family, stocking stuffers, friend gifts, teacher gifts etc.... This helps to give you an idea of EVERYONE you would like to give gifts to - plus help you to cross off when money starts to get tight...

Take the category's that you have and divide up the amount of money you have to spend on Christmas and BUDGET each section....

Now.... here is just a fun little exercise to do... IF ... remember I said IF you should decide that you need to CHARGE your Christmas... just do this little exercise - and I'm pretty sure you will change your mind about the "CHARGING" Christmas....

Scroll all the way to the bottom of my page - you will find a "CREDIT CARD CALCULATOR" - it's pretty simple to use - but guaranteed to give you a stomach ache.... so use with caution.. :) 

Let's just say for fun - you decide to charge $1000.00 for your Christmas, your interest rate is 24.0% and your minimum payment is $40.00 - GUESS WHAT.... It will take you 35 months to pay off (nearly 3 years!)  is your stomach hurting yet??? if not... this just might do it..... AND the $1000.00 you just charged will now cost you $1400.00.... Do you want to just throw away $400.00 ??? If you do, I'm here to tell you - I'll give you my account number and feel free to just deposit it into my account...  I won't mind at all! :)  besides, it will save you $1000.00 :)  Go ahead - give it a try - if you have a credit card now - and would like to know how much you would have to pay to be debt free in a certain amount of months - you can do that too!  For instance, if you want to be out of debt on that $1000.00 with 24% interest in 12 months, you would need to pay approx. $94.56 a month ... SO.... if you feel that is what you need to spend on your Christmas, then, you should put $94.56 away each month - and your will have a NICE Christmas budget just waiting for you and growing....

I mean - which plan would you prefer to do? I personally - hate CREDIT cards!  So, I have set my budget, and put in how many months I have to purchase my stuff and that tells me how much I can spend for Christmas. I prefer that way MUCH MUCH MORE!

Good luck - Let me know how your budget planning is goin....

Next up....Baking for the holidays - and stretching that BUDGET!


  1. Hi,
    I'm with you - I try not too use credit cards. Best to start early or save a few dollars a month in a secret place so that by Dec you will have some cash on hand. Stop by my blog and enter my give away. I'm sure you'll love the little angels. Ends Sat at midnight!

    Have a great day

  2. I think it is a great idea to think about Budgeting already! Thanks for reminding me to do so!

    Best wishes and happy 2012!

  3. I really like all your ideas for budgeting and planning ahead for Christmas. I'm trying to do that this year, as I want to make some of the presents. I will also be buying quite a few, since we have 6 grandchildren. Thanks for sharing your ideas!


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