You may find it funny for me to talk about preparing for Christmas in February, but advance preparation is the key to not go into debt this coming December. Here are a few ideas:
- Create a Christmas budget NOW! This is the most important thing to do to stay out of debt. Make a list of those you would most likely shop for. Be frugal with how much you might budget on each person. By sticking to my budget last year, I paid cash for everything. That was sooooo nice! Here is a Christmas budget worksheet: Worksheet
- Set up an automatic weekly transfer from your checking account to a Christmas savings account. Even if you transfer $10 per week, you should have a nice sum by the end of the year.
- If you pay 10% of your monthly income to tithing, pay a little bit more each month than you normally would. You may end up being a full-tithe payer by October or November. Then use the money you budgeted for tithing for your Christmas funds.
- Shop now for a few gifts. Some of the best clearance sales are going on now. You could spend $8 on a sweater now or $20 in November. There is nothing wrong with thinking about loved ones now. Just remember where you hide the gifts.
- If you like to make homemade gifts, pick up some yarn, or fabric you may find on sale now!
- Planning ahead will prevent a lot of stress and financial challenges later.