OK. I’m being a little facetious with that, but the truth is many of us manage our finances as if Christmas coming in December was totally unexpected.
The problem with Christmas surprises
The problem with this is we haven’t planned ahead. Now we have presents to buy, meals to prepare, parties to go to, maybe travel to see out of state relatives. All of those things are wonderful. They are part of what makes Christmas a wonderful time.
What happens though when we haven’t planned ahead? We probably don’t have a pile of money sitting around in savings. So we pull out the plastic and say we’ll worry about paying the bills later. Because little Johnny and Mary have to have a nice Christmas. And if you are like me when you think about the smile that little Johnny or Mary will have when they tear open that paper, most of your will power goes out the door.
But then January comes. The tree is sitting on the curb, the visits to family are a memory, and the bills start to arrive. Suddenly, we may find ourselves regretting those December purchases. And we spend most of the next year digging out of our hole only to jump back in next December.
Avoiding the January heartburn
So how do we avoid the January heartburn that follows the December feast?
Well the best way is to tally up the best we can all that we plan to spend on Christmas. Divide that number by 12. Then save that amount each month. Then when Christmas rolls around we can use cash to buy those gifts, and January won’t be filled with regrets.
You say well that’s a great idea. Too bad it’s not January.
Well the good news is the year is only half over. We still have 6 months to go before Christmas. You can do the same thing, just divide your savings total by 6, and save that amount each month.
I encourage you to start planning ahead for Christmas now. I know you may not be thinking Christmas as we roll into July. As I write this, where I live it’s about 90 degrees with humidity that you can almost wring out of the air. Doesn’t feel much like Christmas.
If you take some time now though to plan ahead and save a little, you can enjoy yourself this Christmas without worrying about checking your mailbox come January.