Well, Christmas 2017 has come and gone and I hope it was a blessed one for you and your family. Our family had quite the eventful Christmas!! This year we thought it would be a blast to buy a house and move three days before Christmas. It has been a wild ride to say the least, but a Christmas no one in my family will ever forget! It was such a blessing to know the bulk of our Christmas purchases had already been planned and bought long before December even rolled around. By following my Five Secrets for a debt free Christmas throughout the year I was able to simply focus on our move and not on purchasing gifts.
You might think it odd to talk about a debt free Christmas AFTER Christmas, but I can assure you that planning and prepping for a debt free Christmas begins the day after Christmas and continues throughout the entire year. If you really want to give your family a special Christmas including those treasured gifts without going into debt you must alter your way of thinking. I have found that perspective is often the key to saving money and living debt free. The following five secrets have kept our LARGE family out of debt during the Christmas gift-giving season for many years.
5 Secrets For A Debt Free Christmas
- Implement a 3 gift limit for those in your immediate family, and 1 gift for extended family and friends. Less is more. Christmas really isn’t about material items anyways; but the gift of Jesus, family, and friends. Creating a gift guide including how many gifts you are purchasing for each person will help to minimize spending and keep Christmas centered around what matters most.
- Keep a running list of who you’re shopping for and what you’ve bought/made throughout the year.
- Think outside the box for gift giving. Make homemade gifts such as sewn items, baked goods, soaps, candles, woodcrafts, etc. Pinterest is a great resource as is Google if you’re looking for homemade gift giving ideas.
- Diligently shop clearance sales, consignments, and thrift stores. Purchasing gifts throughout the year is much easier on a budget than all at once at the end of the year. I especially love after holiday sales. Many items sold after holidays are neutral and can easily be given as gifts for Christmas. I especially like to shop after Christmas, Valentines Day, Easter, and Halloween for stocking stuffers.
- Make a point to put back a set amount of money each month for those last-minute gifts that can’t be purchased in advance. I always create a Black Friday and Cyber Monday savings plan, because much of those deals are simply worth saving for! My personal goal is to save $60 a month for Christmas spending that I can’t get accomplished throughout the year.
Christmas is such a wonderful time of the year. Adding the stress of debt doesn’t have to be apart of your family holiday traditions. By creating a gift-giving plan early in the year AND sticking to the plan, you will have a greater opportunity to simply focus on enjoying loved ones and making treasured memories during the Christmas season. Giving gifts doesn’t have to be a burden to your budget, especially when you implement the above FIVE Secrets For A Debt Free Christmas. So, whose ready to start planning, prepping, and saving for Christmas 2018?!