The Christmas Season is sneaking up on us. It seems to start earlier and earlier every year doesn’t it? I know many of you may not even start to think about Christmas until after Thanksgiving but if you want less stress this Christmas, you should start thinking and planning NOW. Today I want to talk about how we budget for a Cash Only Christmas.
The idea of a cash only Christmas may be scary for a lot of you but in our house, it is the only way to go. I assure you that you will be less stressed and will be able to enjoy the holiday more if you use the methods outlined in this post. This post is not aimed at telling you how much money to save for Christmas because I know that every person’s financial situation is different. It is aimed at showing you how to budget for and spend only cash and avoid putting any purchases onto credit cards this holiday.
Create a budget
Budget is a word that we all cringe over, am I right? But it is essential when it comes to avoiding credit card use during the holidays. Some people skip right over this step and just start spending. Don’t fall into that trap. Be honest with yourself and determine how much you can afford to spend on gifts. Focus on the quality of the gift rather than quantity. My favorite type of gifts are experiences that we can share with the kids such as a family membership to a museum. I feel like my money goes further with those types of gifts rather than toys.
Save money weekly
Once you have determined the amount of money that you can spend, set up a draft from your checking account into a separate account dedicated for Christmas gifts, starting TODAY. It is the beginning of November. This gives you approximately one month to save up money and still have time to purchase gifts. Next year, you can start saving a few months earlier.
Plan out your purchases in advance
No last-minute trips to the store for gifts. That is just a recipe for disaster. Last minute equals impulse buys and over spending. Write down everyone that you need to buy for and a gift idea for each person. Research the price of each gift and add up the total. Amazon has already started offering Black Friday deals. Amazon is one of my favorite ways to shop for gifts. You can’t beat free 2-day shipping with Amazon Prime. Compare the total of your planned purchases to the amount of cash that you have to spend. If you are overbudget, tweaks need to be made.
Consider homemade gifts
If the amount of cash that you have does not cover the planned gift expenses, consider homemade gifts for some people on your list.
Leave the credit cards at home
This may seem obvious but if you don’t carry your credit cards with you when shopping, you won’t use them. You have done a great job saving up cash for Christmas in your dedicated account. Do not ruin this by taking credit cards with you when you shop.
To help you stay on track for your Cash Only Christmas, I have created a Budget Tracker printable that you can download here.
Please note that this printable is for personal use only. It may not be redistributed, shared, or sold.
This printable is a special freebie and is part of my eBook, Conquer the Chaos. This book will take you through every step of planning for Christmas from budgeting to meal planning to gift giving. It has over 15 printables to keep your organized this holiday season. If this post has been helpful for you, be sure to check out my book!
I hope you have a stress-free and enjoyable holiday season. Don’t let the chaos of the holidays get to you. Set your budget and aim for a cash only Christmas!