The holidays will be here sooner than you think. Just look at the local stores already selling holiday decorations. Personally, I just love the gift giving holidays, but my budget would say some years I have loved it a little too much. And when January credit card bills roll in you definitely know you loved the gift giving too much. But if you start now, you can make the holiday heartburn disappear.
Make a list of all the people you would like to honor with a gift this holiday. Think of the decorations you might want to add, and the wrapping paper and tape it will take for all those presents. Are you going to splurge on a large holiday meal with prime rib for everyone?
Plan. Put a realistic cost next to each of the items on your list and add it up. Now don’t let the sum scare you. Let it drive you to set aside an amount each week between now and the holidays to make the smiles on your loved ones’ faces a reality.
Be flexible with the budget. If you find a sale when shopping for one person, you can move that to get that big present for someone else (although some of the smallest presents are what needs those flexible dollars). If you need to, trade that prime rib idea in for a turkey – it’s the getting together that’s so important, no one notices the price per pound trade that you used to fill the stockings.
Give yourself the giftof not starting the year under the pile of credit card bills. And if your stress level is lower, everyone feels it and is the happier for it, so you have given them all another gift and you didn’t even realize it.