Well, we have all survived the ghost and goblins of Halloween yeah! And it always seems that Thanksgiving is just a hop, skip and jump away. Then its Black Friday and we magically arrive into the Christmas season wandering around the stores, trying to get gifts, decor, food and more. We are in full throttle Christmas mode! Run to entertainment activities, send Christmas cards, take pictures and trying to make this the best Christmas ever!
We start stressing about all the stuff we have to buy. And because we haven't planned, we fall into the trap of financing our Christmas! Right now there are tons of magazines with articles on how to budget for Christmas and each article I have read always has something about choosing the right credit card to make the most out of your Christmas purchases with getting more points, cash back etc. The truth is financing your Christmas is a bad idea. Statistically you spend more when you use a credit card than you would have if you spent cash. Those great offers the stores and credit cards give you end up costing you more in interest and fees come January. Because the likely hood of you paying it off in January is not going to happen (statistically). In fact, the credit industry is counting on it and that's why they really ramp up their marketing with commercials and sweet sentiments that this could be your best Christmas ever with Master Card, Visa, Discover, American Express etc.
Now that my partial rant is done, let’s talk about a plan to have a Finance Free Christmas! That's right Frugalistas, we don't have to fall into that trap. We can make a plan now!
First, let’s talk about a Christmas budget with your significant other or if you are single, talk it over with a trusted friend who will support you and not tempt you into spending more money. Once you have established a Christmas budget, make the choice to use cash only! And I really mean it. CASH ONLY. If you can't pay cash for it, you can't afford it!
Maybe you need to adjust the budget at this point and do some planning on where you can shop to get the best deals for those on your Christmas gift list. Maybe you can give handmade gifts instead. You have 51 days until Christmas…ouch! But you really do only have 51 days and you can do a lot in those 51 days. You can rack up credit card debt that will take you well into June of next year to pay off or you can choose to have a Finance Free Christmas. Let me paint a picture of what a Finance Free Christmas looks like…
Lovely thoughtful gifts that you bought or made that don't have an interest payment gift tag on them, food that you aren't paying for (and digesting) in February, no bills that have to be paid so you can have a great financial start to 2016.
And here is the great news! You still have all the love and memories of Christmas for FREE! No bargain hunting because memories are always the same price!
My Challenge to you is to have Finance Free Christmas! I am going to be sharing my ideas and thoughts with you all on how to have Finance Free Christmas everything from decor, holiday meal prep, gift giving and most importantly focusing on what really matters in life, Not STUFF! Join me in my challenge and share your tips and ideas. Got questions? Join us for “Easy and FUN Frugal Christmas Ideas” at our Frugalista Ladies Night Out Event on Nov. 20th 6:30 pm to 8:30 pm at The Pointe Outreach Center, 650 Northwest Hwy, Crystal Lake, IL
Keep It Frugal!
Hi! I am an Immanuel Lutheran Stewardship Champion but before that I was a Frugalista! I want to welcome you to Heather's Frugal Living. In my classes, you will learn my easy and savvy tips in how to live large on a small budget.