As we move past the Holiday season and get settled back into our normal everyday way of life, I want to take the chance to talk about saving for Christmas. Did you just say saving for Christmas in January? Are you serious? We have not even paid off last Christmas! Yes I am serious, but even though Christmas 2011 is still almost 12 months away, now is the time to start saving.
By starting today to save a little bit each month, it gives you more time to save overall. Not saving for non-monthly expenses can be killer to budgets and by saving in January it does not allow the Christmas season to “sneak up” on you like it has in the past. It will also relieve that stress of not knowing how you are going to pay for your gifts when it is around Thanksgiving and you have no money saved. It also gives you an outline ahead of time of how much money you are planning to spend. So, if you want to spend $600 for Christmas, put $50 a month into your budget. If you want to spend $1,000, put $83 a month into your budget. If you want to spend $1,200, put $100 a month in your budget and so forth. Then watch your balance grow and have the cash right then and there when you go shopping next December!
Planning ahead that far in advance might seem a little bit strange, but that is because no one else does it in our culture and to win financially you need to do things that broke people are not doing. Developing and sticking to a plan is a healthy financial habit that we recommend to begin doing in 2011. Who knows, you could even have more money to spend at Christmas then you normally do by saving ahead of time! So as crazy as it might sound, start saving for Christmas in January!