It’s that time of year. The calendar page turns to November or maybe even December and we realize how few days remain until Christmas. It’s not too late to plan for a merry holiday season paid for with cash!
This week, start by making a list of all the people whom you’d like to bless with a gift this season. Keep it simple. Start with your immediate family and set a dollar limit for each. The dollar limit for each should be the amount that you are comfortable paying in cash. Commit to keep your spending to that amount or less.
The next thing to plan for is holiday gatherings, both Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Years. Determine now the amount you can spend on potlucks at Aunt Susie’s, work parties and travel.
Once you’ve determined those two amounts, total up them up and divide it by the number of paydays you have between now and Christmas. You may need to make adjustments.
Last, make a list of inexpensive or free gifts you could give. Examples are homemade cookies, fudge, chocolate sauce, soup mixes, certificates for nights of babysitting, free car washes, or for a homemade dinner. Look also for packs of items you could divide into several different gifts. There are a multitude of ideas. My personal favorite is Rachael Ray’s Five-Minute Fudge, inexpensive and absolutely delicious! One recipe can be divided into 4 different gifts depending on the pan you use.
By making a plan and sticking to a preset budget, you can have a merry holiday season with no financial regrets later.