Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Stress FREE Christmas shopping

I’ve mentioned before that a few years back I discovered Dave Ramsey.  His simplicity to personal finance was refreshing!  The baby steps work.   We manage to pay off all our consumer debt (except our mortgage and a small vehicle loan that I discussed here) and pay cash for everything now.

 

One thing I was able to implement into our weekly budget is a Christmas Fund

I know this nothing new and earth shattering as far as ideas go,  but actually doing it and sticking to it has changed my outlook on the holiday season.  I use to start a mild panic attack in September and with each passing day it would get stronger. (does any of this sound familiar?)

Here are my tips for a stress free holiday spending:

  • Start today! (tomorrow doesn’t work….TODAY…or you’ll forget, put it off, and you know where you will be come September! PANICING)
  • Decide on your budget. (Set down with anyone who shares the responsibility with you)
  • Divide your budget up into the number of weeks left to shop. (If you want to have all your holiday shopping done by the first week of December then subtract 4 weeks from 52 weeks out of the year.)
  • Automate your money to direct deposit.  (this KEY to making it work and sticking to it.  Trust me… you almost forget about the money drafted.)
  • Set up an account separate from your main savings and/or checking.  (Another KEY fact, I use a completely different bank for my long term saving.  That way I don’t see the money on a daily bases.)
  • Don’t touch the money for anything other than holiday gifts.

 I promise this will add such joy to your life!

I remember the first year that I got to go shopping stress-FREE…. the way I walled through the shops whistling holiday carols… I bet people thought I just won the lotto!  In some ways I felt like I did.

I use   ING Direct for my holiday savings/checking account.  I opened this account specifically for this reason alone (and even earned a bonus $25). I couldn’t be happier with this bank!  All direct deposits go into the savings and then when it’s time for me to make a holiday purchase, I just log on and transfer money to the debit card!

To access the ING DIRECT Orange Savings Account $25 offer click here or if that link is already used, please email me at oprootbb@gmail.com with "ING" in the subject line along with your first and last name, and I will forward you a referral within 24 hours.
Be sure to completely read over the terms and conditions prior to opening up the account.
  

Full Disclosure: I do receive $10 from ING for each referral made through me (up to 25 total)

Carrie

7 comments:

  1. Oh a Christmas fund is such a good idea. I really want to make it a goal to do this in the coming year. Thanks for sharing these tips and thanks for the sweet compliments on my blog. You are too kind!

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  2. Gotta love Dave! His plan does work! Glad to see you weren't stressed!

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  3. This IS a great idea!!! We used to have CHRISTMAS CLUBS in the banks "YEARS AGO"... I had forgotten about it... This is a perfect way to reflect on Christmas how well you did in the previous year too... LOVE IT and Thank you...
    Happy New Year to you,
    Donna

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  4. OoooooKaaaaay! Im a DITZ! I JUST NOW saw that you have a Monday linky party??? And HOW LONG have we been blog buds? I have added your button to my blog and WILL link up next Monday! Duuhh!
    xoxokara

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  5. I am going to do that today! We have a savings account that we don't use and I am going to have automatic transfers set up to move Christmas funds there effective with our next paychecks!! Thanks for the motivation!

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  6. Thanks for the tips. Can always use money management tips Ÿ

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  7. We have been working on paying down debt and building up savings; I kept hearing about DR, and looked into him...turns out we were/are pretty much doing what he suggested! :-)

    Although, I do have to be better next year about a Christmas fund; I usually do that, but just forgot about it and didn't start saving this year until October, eeek! But I still managed to pay cash for Christmas, phew! (we don't have much to buy.) Still, next year I have to start earlier.

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Thanks ~Carrie

*and remember what mom always said~ "If you don't have anything nice to say, don't say NOTHING at all".

 
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