Well people it’s that time of year again. It comes every year, at the same time. It doesn’t sneak up on you, it’s not an emergency. Every year on December 25th Santa Clause comes to your house and it’s time for you to pay him. I know some of you give him an IOU slip in the form of a credit card and spend the rest of the year paying it off. In fact, according to Credit Karma https://www.creditkarma.com/insights/i/quarter-of-americans-will-take-on-debt-for-holidays/ 22% of people are still paying off their debts from last Christmas. People open your eyes and wake up!!! When are you going to get your life together and stop borrowing to pay for Christmas! You need to plan.
I know with Christmas just a couple of paychecks away some people might be wondering “how in the world is she doing it?” “How is she paying off her mortgage early?” For one thing I try to live below my means. I try to take my lunch to work, I rarely buy any clothes, I don’t buy jewelry (I was robbed not once, but twice and it’s not worth it), I don’t try to keep up with the Jones, or Johnsons, or the Whoevers.
I prefer to be in Levi’s (which I can buy 3 pair for $120 on sale on-line or at the outlet) and a t-shirt (these I love https://smile.amazon.com/gp/product/B00KRYLK12/ref=ppx_yo_dt_b_asin_title_o02_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1). I also take some of the money that is left over from the cash I allocate to my cash envelopes every two weeks and place some of that into a Christmas envelope to use for Christmas presents. I used to have a specific envelope where I would put a small amount every payday in this envelope, then by the time Christmas came around I would have a ton of money for Christmas presents. It got to the point where I had so much cash on hand I was getting scared that someone would rob me, and I was feeling stupid because the cash I had on hand was not working for me (earning interest) and just sitting, doing nothing but waiting to be spent.
So I started putting that money into my Vanguard Brokerage account. It sits there earning interest all year long until it’s time for me to Christmas shop. I started to do that with a lot of my envelope money, just so I wasn’t carrying around or keeping at home, a lot of cash. Budgeting for Christmas is easy if you become disciplined and live within your means. I love spending money at Christmas. If I could I would buy everyone I know a gift, but that is only not logical, it’s not obtainable for me at this point in my life.
Things you can try in your own life… How about only one or two gifts for the kids or your spouse? When did it become popular to waste your whole year of earnings to provide gifts that people may or may not appreciate, remember, or even use???
Life isn’t about getting stuff. Just look in your kitchen. How many kitchen gadgets do you have? How many can you use at the same time?
I was in Costco the other day. NO, I don’t have a Costco card. I don’t think a Costco card is beneficial to me at this point in my life. It’s just me. Anyways, I went into a Costco with the BF who’s sister has a membership there. All of a sudden I wanted to buy everything. My mind started telling me that I needed that sweater, I needed the new silverware, I needed a 5 gallon jug of whatchamacallit. My mind was spinning. I literally had to take a deep breath, close my eyes and tell my brain “This is just a want, I really don’t need (insert name of everything in Costco) to feel satisfied”. If you are ever in this situation, just repeat those words in your head. Do you really need that new frying pan, air fryer, or toaster oven? Or is your brain just overwhelmed with the lights, all the people fussing about, or the “newness” of the items?
If you just go down the next two isles, there are more things to distract you, and by the time you repeat those words above about 50 times you will be at the end of the Costco isles and you will forget about that first isle, then you can tell yourself “see you really don’t need the whatchamacallit”.
Start the new year of 2020 by putting $25 or $50 per pay period into your Vanguard brokerage account (please don’t use a non-interest bearing checking account or a low interest earning bank savings account) and by Christmas next year you will have most if not all of the money you need to pay for your Christmas shopping then and you won’t put yourself back into debt.
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Here’s to reading on!!!!
Enjoying your blog! We have a running budget category for gifts and in early fall start ramping up spare cash in its direction. No surprises come January!
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