Every year, many folks head out for Christmas shopping and do not have a plan. They whip out old faithful, their Visa or MasterCard or some other preferred credit card, and spend like drunken sailors.
Then, January comes. The credit card company sends you a delayed Christmas card with a price tag! Now the hangover begins. You reach for that bottle of aspirin and your stomach hurts. You feel sick.
Well, Christmas does not have to end this way. It can be merry and the memories can be joyous.
What’s Your Plan?
Do you have a plan? My plan is I know when Christmas is. It comes on the same day every year. Can you image that! December 25! Yes, really, the same day every year. I have been saving for gifts, a planned trip and a good time all year. Oh, and when January comes, no Christmas card from the credit card company.
My Christmas will be joyous and will be spent with family in a nice vacation spot. We generally spend Christmas this way every year and you can, too, with a little planning.
First, let’s set the budget. Yes, you need to create a Christmas budget and save for it. Who will you buy gifts for – your spouse, kids, extended family, friends? What about the gifts for co-workers and perhaps Christmas tips?
Make your list and check it twice. Once you have your list, it is time to decide how much you can or want to spend on each person.
Line one of your Christmas budget is done!
Christmas Dinner or Travel?
Where will you spend Christmas? With whom will you spend Christmas? Maybe some travel will be involved with plane tickets, hotel rooms and other incidentals. Perhaps you will meet family at some vacation spot and enjoy everyone’s company.
There’s nothing like spending the holidays with family at some joyous vacation spot. Maybe Hawaii or Disneyworld or some ski resort? What’s your pleasure? How much will this cost?
Line two of our Christmas budget is done!
Let the fun begin. Sound good? Are you on board?
You don’t need to run up the credit cards. Pay cash. Now, I know you may be saying, this guy is off his rocker, but it can be done. I do it every year. We really have a very Merry Christmas and then there is no January hangover!
Planning is critical to the success of this very Merry Christmas. QCBN
By Steven Calabrese, CPA
Steven Calabrese, CPA is the CFO of West Yavapai Guidance Clinic. He also is the owner operator of a website known as thebiweeklyadvisor.com, where such topics as budgeting, investing, paying off debt and goal setting are discussed.