Pay for Christmas in Cash
One of my favorite holidays is Christmas.
I love taking the time to think about, shop for, and/or create gifts tailored to the recipient. Throughout the year, I keep a running list in the notes app on my phone of gift ideas. For example, last summer my boyfriend wanted a pair of work pants from a certain store, but they were more than what he wanted to spend - I immediately typed that in (yes, he was very surprised at Christmas).
During 2018, I greatly improved my confidence with money. I started the year with less than $1,000 to my name, little over $60,000 in student loan debt, and a $3,500 vehicle loan. After a few too many meltdowns regarding money, I picked myself up and was determined to improve my relationship with money. I listened to numerous podcasts, I read financial books and articles, and took time each month to evaluate where I was financially.
By the time Christmas rolled in, I had managed to build a healthy emergency fund, paid off my vehicle, and reduced student debt by about $7,000. Yet, I tell you all this because through that meticulous planning and education, I let one thing slip: I had no savings specifically set aside for Christmas.
While I "had" the money to pay for Christmas, I did not contribute as planned to my emergency fund and consequently failed to reach my $10,000 goal by 12/31 … which hurt.
This year, I have some hefty financial goals to reach and I cannot afford to waver from my plan again. Therefore, I am creating a Christmas sinking fund to help me plan for my favorite time of the year!
Do you want to pay for Christmas in cash too?
Join me by taking the following steps:
This month, I want you to calculate how much you will spend for Christmas.
Who will you buy for?
Are there spending limits?
Do you participate in a Secret Santa?
Once you have that amount, divide it by 9. This will be how much you set aside each month from February to October.
Why only nine months? Starting your Christmas shopping early can help decrease stress and time spent on last minute shopping. With more time to shop, you’re also less likely to overspend.
To make the savings process even easier, set up a monthly automatic transfer so this isn't "one more thing" you have to worry about.