There are 334 days until Christmas Day 2024. What if you gave your family the gift of a debt-free Christmas? You might be thinking…great idea but how?
The first step is thinking about what matters most to you and your family when it comes to the way you celebrate. Is it experiences, giving, toys, meals, trips, decorations? Ask your kids what part of Christmas matters most to them. (This is a critical step…if they can communicate with you, I’m sure they have an answer for you and it might even surprise you!).
Determine how many pay periods between now and your target date. I strive to have my Christmas funds saved by Halloween so I can jump on great buys when I see them. It also helps me enjoy the season instead of scrambling to find ways to pay for it.
Next, decide how much you want to spend on Christmas overall. Once you have your total number in mind, divide it by the number of pay periods until your target date. For example, if you want to be able to spend $500 with 15 pay periods, you’ll need to set aside about $34 a pay period.
Then ask yourself:
- Does this seem realistic? If not, do I need to adjust my total budget? Target date? Planned celebrations?
- If your planned amount is low, you could bump it up. When you have the cash available, you have more freedom to decide how YOU spend YOUR money.
The beauty in doing this exercise now allows you to make more confident decisions later without the stress and pressure that the holidays can bring. You might even find that your family enjoys “the little things” more than you thought. What a gift that will be for all!