For some of you, broaching this topic is like rubbing salt in the wound, otherwise known as your December credit card bill. It might seem insane to be thinking about Christmas in January. It might seem like something only big-time budgeting nerds would do.
And you might be right. But big-time budgeting nerds enjoy Christmas more than everyone else:
Guilt-Free Spending Is So Much Fun
If you put money aside every month for Christmas, come next December you will have a fully-funded category of money to spend! Money whose whole job is just to buy presents, and throw parties, and send holiday cards!
You won’t feel stressed or guilty. You won’t throw up your hands and relent, “What’s another $100?” (at least five times). You will feel like you’ve really mastered being a grown-up.
No Debt Hangover In January Is Even Better!
And when January 1 rolls around, and you don’t have any new credit card debt or retail regret, you won’t be scrambling to catch up. You won’t start (another) new year frustrated and stressed about money, or lack thereof.
We All Need Boundaries
My four-year-old needs boundaries. She is happier and healthier, when she knows the expectations and they are consistent, and we are all in a better mood! And as much as I fight it, I’m not that different. I’m better, happier, and more productive, when I am disciplined, consistent, and stick to my routines.
If you save all year long for Christmas, come December, you have a finite amount of money to work with. You will know exactly what you can spend. And starting with that number, makes it much easier to stick with that number. You can just decide not to spend more than that, and the boundary will force you to prioritize, make choices, and be creative. The boundary is key.
Some Is More Than None
Commit to putting money aside every single month, all year long. Even if it is just a little bit. While it is fresh, think about what you spent this last year or what you wish you had spent, and divide that number by 12. For easy math, let’s say $1,200 is your goal—that’s $100 a month.
It’s the end of January, so maybe you can’t pull off $100 this month, but maybe you can squeeze an extra $25. Do it! It’s good to have that category in front of you every month, and start building the habit, and treating Christmas like one of your monthly expenses.
The Best Way To Spread Christmas Cheer Is Saving Proud For The Whole Year
A sad Elf reference, but true. You will not believe how much more you will enjoy the holidays when you have the money sitting in the bank, waiting to make Christmas magic! Ask a YNABer, they will not be able to stop talking about it how great it feels!
Create a Christmas category and start saving for your (first) best Christmas ever!