10.02.2014

Holiday Budgeting Tracker: How to Plan a Debt Free Christmas



Breaking news! We have 12 weekends until Christmas…Yes you heard me right only 24 Friday and Saturdays to get your shopping done, travel arranged, food made and of course halls decked with lights and garland. 

Debt Free Christmas

Am I putting you in panic mode? Did you forget to budget for gifts and holiday expenses this year (again). Maybe you didn’t forget but really can’t find any money to spare in your budget so you were just planning on swiping the good ol’ plastic card? 

STOP! NOT THIS YEAR!

Last year was the most challenging holiday our family has ever faced. We do not use credit cards for anything but medical emergencies and even then cringe. So, when on the exact day we received our Christmas club money my car need over $800.00 worth of repairs we faced the hard choice to use that money and most of our emergency savings to pay for the repairs. In the video I state “It broke my heart” to see the money leave my hand as soon as I got it, but, Christmas is a WANT. The only need we had was spending the day together as a family continuing the non-monetary traditions we had.

You may think I am crazy and this may not be something you are willing to ever do. 

I felt the same way. So what I did was find every single thing I could sell and used every source of savings and talent I had to make $250.00 to use to buy 20 people Christmas presents. We did a lot of DIY things and opted out of traveling throughout the month to see the annual Christmas light display. I also gave up annual friend Christmas exchanged and cookie swaps. 

As I planned for this post if made me realize I was given the challenge to:
1.) Overcome
2.) Share how to everyone can have a debt free holiday
3.) Appreciate that many people cannot afford food let alone hundreds of dollars in frivolous toys

Last year reiterated how important it is to make the holidays about family and traditions not materialist things.

In the video I share my tried and true Holiday Budget Tracker. This little piece of paper kept me on track and away from swiping that credit card last year!


To get your very own tracker you can


I will again be hosting 24 Days of Deals in November where I share one HOT deal a day to help keep your Christmas spending on budget!
I challenge you to rethink the Holidays this year! What will you focus on in order to have a debt free Christmas?

XX,


10 comments:

  1. This is my goal for this year! Handmade and full of love (and a lot less expensive and stressful!)

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    1. So much less stressful making things and there is such a great pride in knowing you are giving something homemade! Thanks for stopping by!

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  2. Good ideas. Christmas can be very funny like that, we feel we have to go overboard! At least I do. I've reined it in considerably the last few years, and I think we are all happier that way.

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    1. It if funny to me how spending 300.00 on each child or spending 300.00 on everyone makes no difference to my kids as long as we do things like make cookies, roast hot dogs in the fireplace, they just really look forward to the traditions! I am glad pulling back a little has made your family happy!!

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  3. Good plan and good ideas. We have been cutting back a little each year. I am tired of the whole holiday panic syndrome.

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    1. Holiday Panic! I am so very over that. I did it every year for way to long!! Thanks for stopping by!

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  4. The last few years we have done nothing for Christmas... both of our families live in different countries so don't send anything and we don't give anything big for each other and this year it will be only our travel money to see each other as we now live in different states.

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    1. It really doesn't take the joy out of Christmas if there is nothing to open or very little does it? Spending time with others is a huge benefit and time off work too!

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  5. This year Christmas will be smaller than in years past. The kids are teens now, and no longer want a bunch of toys. One thing that has helped me is I set aside Target gifts cards I earn when buying something, wait to cash out survey money until close to Christmas, and save my recycled can money (something we have to do in Mi) Every little bit adds up.

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    1. Pam that is great! I do the same with my rebate apps hold it and let it collect until nov 1. I normally have enough saved that I can buy two or three nice gifts and that takes a little burden off my budget! So many people say teens gifts cost a lot more, do you find that to be true?

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