Setting a budget is essential for the holiday season. Gullup reports that the average American is estimated to spend up to $883 on Christmas in 2018. The Christmas holiday can add up, from the Christmas tree, groceries for Christmas dinner, and oh yes, the GIFTS. Here are 5 tips to help you save your bank account before Christmas.
Check your finances and create a budget of how much you can afford to spend without your monthly expenses being affected. This doesn’t have to be just the money left after bills. You can decide to opt out of your daily Starbucks run and instead, put the money to the side. Avoid cash advances and credit card spending. Create a budget, decide what you may want to sacrifice and stick with it — a great step toward a stress-free Christmas.
As you’re preparing to give, take a moment to refocus on the reason for your giving. Focus more on showing your appreciation for the person, and resist the urge to think that the best gifts always have a large price tag. Be intentional in your giving by thinking about those you’d like to bless. Honor them with gifts that express their uniqueness and what you know about them and you’re on your way to being a master giver.
In most ventures, a little planning goes a long way and giving is no different. Taking the time to make your list, research items online and prepare a budget before you head to the mall can help you save both time and money, so don’t skip this step.
It’s much easier to overspend with credit because you don’t see the money leaving your hands. When you’re purchasing with cash, you’ll make better decisions because we innately have more of an emotional experience when our hard-earned cash leaves our hands. So leave the credit cards at home and then you’ll know when the cash is gone, you’re finished shopping.
Once you’ve completed steps 1 – 4, all that’s left is to go shopping. Consider planning to devote one day to completing all your shopping. This way you’ll avoid impulse buying. Multiple trips to stores increase the likelihood that you’ll find more reasons to bust the budget. With steps 1 – 4 in place, step 5 should be a breeze.
The birth of Jesus is the ‘reason for the season.’ Gift giving is the part of Christmas that reminds us of Jesus receiving gifts from the Wise Men; Frankincense, Gold, and Myrrh. Christmas itself is really about the big present that God gave the world about 2,000 years ago – Jesus! (John 3:16). For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.
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