PUBLIC SERVICE ANNOUNCEMENT: Christmas falls on December 25th this year!
I’m only kidding a little bit. Why? In reality, we all know what day Christmas is… yet every year we fail to plan for the cost! Gifts to buy… time off work… turkey dinners to make… it all racks up.
If you’re in my inner circle called the Pretty Money Club, then you’ve budgeted for this holiday all year long. You’ve set up your bank account architecture and you’re automatically putting money into the Future You category, which includes Christmas.
If you’re like many other busy people who flail around the holiday season and promise to do better next year instead, don’t beat yourself up. I got your back. Here are three things you can do to stay on track this Christmas.
1. Make a budget and stick to it.
I know this might seem like a no-brainer, but if you don’t figure out how much money you have to spend, you’ll definitely blow your budget. Take 5 minutes and download my free holiday spend tracker. You will get to make a budget for everyone on your gift list, and actually track each purchase right from your phone.
2. Don’t get distracted by shiny “SALES.”
Just because those awesome shoes are on sale doesn’t mean you have to buy them. Sales are going to come up again. They don’t JUST come up at Christmas time. In fact, I promise that there will be a sale within a month of Christmas coming to an end. Stick to your list! Is the item that you’re drooling over on your gift list for someone? No? Then don’t even. You’re falling for the shiny object. You’re getting distracted. Just because there is a big red sign that says it’s 70% off DOES NOT give you an excuse to reach for your credit card and spend money you don’t have on something that isn’t on your list in the first place.
3. Meaningful gifts don’t have to be expensive.
Chances are that your most treasured memories have little to do with a material object and more to do with an experience with friends or family. Think outside the mall this season. Use your skills. Get creative. Give your time. There are so many ways that you can show someone how special they are without having to spend a ton of money! Maybe it means that your family pools their resources to do a really fun activity together. Maybe you frame a photo taken on a life-changing trip with a friend. Maybe you knit a hat for your niece’s favorite dolly. Maybe you host dinner this year and buy a fun board game to make some memories with.
If you feel like you’re scrambling this year, I encourage you to get on top of your finances with my FREE 5 Day Budget Makeover Series, so that next year you are not SHOCKED that Christmas arrives on the 25th… again!