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 email@example.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)