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My suggestion, in short, is to set a total budget amount that you can afford, then save, save, and save some more. When you start shopping, stick to the budgeted amount and pay cash. Most of us can scrape up $10, 25, or maybe even $100 for a gift for one person during the year, but for even the small family, the annual December gift-giving-peak can be a strain if not planned for. If you haven’t saved in advance, I strongly recommend setting a total budget you can afford out of current income/savings, but not out of your emergency fund. This is not an emergency! And then, as soon as the holidays are over, start saving for next year. But, how do you accomplish this?
Let me tell you our story. Well…, actually…, to read our story and obtain some tips for Establishing a Christmas Budget, Keeping on Track, Getting Started, and Keeping Things Under Control, you must read my post on the Coastal Federal Credit Union Blog. It is my hope that our story will be a model you can adopt as your own, regardless of the size of your family.
(Holiday Gift Budget Tracking Spreadsheet is a sample spreadsheet similar to the one that we use to track our gift giving budget.)
Enjoy your upcoming holiday and keep it debt free! Until next time…“May the LORD bless and protect you…May He give you Shalom.” (Numbers 6:24-26)