Does Christmas shopping stress you out? Are you frustrated that you always spend more than you originally intended? You’re not alone! Even the best planners who make lists and pull all-nighters to get the best Black Friday and Cyber Monday deals can fall into this trap. But it doesn’t have to be so stressful next year! Here’s how to make it easier on yourself in the future:
- Figure out how much you spent this year while it’s fresh on your mind and write it down. You still have all the receipts and it’s easy to recall which transactions on your bank statements can be attributed to Christmas. If you write it down, you will have an accurate expectation of what the gifts actually cost you. From there, you need to decide whether it’s reasonable to expect you’ll spend the same amount in 2021 or whether you’d like to limit yourself to a more realistic budget. You’re in a good position now to know what that realistic budget might look like instead of guessing months down the road.
- Start saving in January and make it automatic. You have 11 months to set money aside so make it count! All you need to do is open an account at a financial institution that you can’t easily access (this helps you avoid the temptation of tapping into it) and then setup automatic transfers into this new account. If you don’t have to think about transferring the money to your Christmas account, it will actually happen. Plus, when it’s transferred the same day you get paid, you aren’t tempted to spend it. It’s a psychological trick that forces you to automatically adjust your regular discretionary spending on things like clothes, food, and entertainment because it isn’t in your account to spend. And one more thing…choose a savings account that earns interest. It’s not hard to find an account earning over 2% interest with no minimum balance requirement. This is especially true of online savings accounts. Just pay attention to any account restrictions like how many withdrawals you can make each month or whether account fees apply.
If you have questions about making wise decisions about your money, reach out to me today – I’m happy to help simplify things for you! Click here to view my calendar and schedule a complimentary appointment that works best for your schedule!