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Delaying something until the last minute is rarely a good idea. Christmas shopping is the perfect example of that.
Many people wait until halfway through December and then dash through the snow to the mall so they can buy gifts in a mad panic. It’s the second quickest way to spoil the fun of the holidays. What’s the quickest way? Not saving up the shopping money beforehand.
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That’s when you put all the gifts on credit cards and run up huge bills, big interest rates and payments that last until–well, next Christmas. According to Bankrate, the average level of December credit card spending in America is just above $892 million. It could take the jolliness out of Santa himself.
Wait, you may be thinking, isn’t Christmas still a few months away? Do I need to think about it now? Yes it is, and yes you should.
Here’s the key to saving without stressing: Sit down and determine the amount of money you want to spend on Christmas gifts. Once you have the total, divide it by the number of months (or even weeks) left until you want to have all your gift shopping done. That number is the dollar amount you must save each week or month.
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So, if you want to spend $1,000 on gifts for your family and friends and there are four months left, that’s $250 a month. By putting a little money toward your holiday budget each month until the end of the year, you’ll find that saving is a lot easier than trying to come up with the money right after Thanksgiving—or even worse, putting it on the plastic.
Christmas is probably the busiest time of year for people. Everywhere you look there are sales, commercials, discounts, parties, etc. The way to stay calm and not overspend during that holiday blitz is to have a plan and a budget before the season strikes. With our easy-to-use Christmas Budget Tool, you can keep the quickly approaching holiday season merry instead of maddening!