Didn't I Just Finish Paying Off Last Year's Christmas This November?
As the holiday season approaches, what are your plans to prepare financially. Many of us will have family visiting, parties to attend, and of course, gifts to buy. If you use credit to finance this revolving debt season, it can definitely take almost a year to payoff and then you start all over again. Even if you pay cash for your gifts, family visits, and parties, are those funds planned for or do you rob from other areas in your budget? If you could not make 2018 your year for saving, then strive for 2019 and start with this area.
In January, add Holidays as a line item in your monthly budget. This amount can be established by determining how much you realistically can afford to spend and dividing that number by 12. By saving on a monthly basis, you can also take advantage of sales that happen throughout the year and not just on Frenzy Thursday (Thanksgiving) or Black Friday. As your funds grow, this does not mean you should spend the funds just because they are available. When the deep discount days happen, you definitely want to have all of your funds to take advantage of those sales. At the end of the holidays, you may find that there are a few dollars leftover which should immediately be added to your next year's fund.
If you simply cannot afford to save over time and use credit to finance the holidays, then have a repayment plan in place to pay off quickly. Try using an automatic deduction tool to save in a separate account. Make sure you do not get an ATM card to avoid stealing from your goals. I know this time of year can be very emotional, but is it worth going into debt over? Remember, there are 364 other days in the year where life happens. Let this be the one that you are actually prepared to handle.