A friend called me the other day. She told me she was done with Christmas shopping for the day. (WHAT?) It’s August. Christmas shopping?
She’s the same friend that told me that she was planning her daughter’s birthday party. Her daughter’s birthday is in November.
She is the different one, not me, right? I mean, how many of you out there has started Christmas shopping? How many of you are even at the point of thinking about Christmas ideas? And better yet, how many of you have put money aside for these sorts of things?
Well, my friend has a fund for birthdays *and* Christmas.
How many of us are that diligent and disciplined? (HA!)
For those of you (and me) who haven’t begun to think about Christmas and the money involved (yikes!), it is not too late. I know my friend probably starts replenishing her Christmas fund the day after Christmas but us losers can start NOW!
Here’s a scary fact: Tomorrow will mark 18 weeks until Christmas. 18 WEEKS! That’s 9 paydays if you get paid every other week.
To lessen the financial impact, you can start putting aside money for Christmas on your next payday. (Yes, you can!) You figure out what you can manage and estimate what you will spend. If you put $50 away right now, you’ll have $450 that you won’t have to put on your credit card (and accrue interest). Or that’s $450 that won’t leave you broke at Christmas time.
To get a better grasp on how much you need to sock away to cover Christmas expenses, start a list on who you need to buy for, give each person a budget and then add up the cost. Divide that cost by 9 (9 paydays). That’s what you need to put away so that you won’t have to owe after the season ends. If you can’t put that much money aside, put aside what you can. A little will ease the burden.
Do the same things with birthdays. Sock money away. If you have to, get an old jar, glue the cap on and stuff money in it. When the event comes, break the jar. Don’t give yourself a way to open that jar to get to that money. Pretend it’s not there. It sounds simple. Yes, it is. It may not be easy but it is simple.