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Christmas might seem like a long way off now, but if you want to prepare for a debt free Christmas–the earlier you start the better.
Here’s the harsh truth: Christmas might seem to sneak up on you and your pocket books–but honestly, it is on the same day every year. Its date is easy to put on the calendar because it doesn’t change. Plus, chances are your calendar already has it printed on December 25th…those calendar makers sure are a helpful bunch. 🙂
So it is time to face facts and realize Christmas isn’t to blame for those years you have used the credit cards to pay for it, the blame lands on lack of planning.
This year however you can change that and achieve the dream of a memorable Christmas paid for with cash–the trick is to start preparing for it today.
All You Need To Prepare For A Debt Free Christmas
These articles I am sharing with you below give you a toolbox of thrifty tips to create the the Christmas of your dreams on a realistic budget. I know the word budget isn’t as fun as Christmas but trust me, when you follow one for the Christmas season you end up with a whole lot less stress and regret.
A Christmas budget means no fear of the mailbox after Christmas passes and the bills start to arrive–because there won’t be any post-Christmas bills to pay.
Creative Ways To Pay For Christmas
The simplest way to have an all cash Christmas is to create a Christmas budget, simply adding up all that you want to buy and do and then dividing it up between the months you have left until Christmas. You then create a “Christmas fund” line on your budget and faithfully pay into it month after month.
However, I know for many families there just isn’t enough income to create a “Christmas fund” line in the budget. I get that because our family certainly has been there.
Here are some creative ways to pay for Christmas:
One year I got really creative for paying for Christmas and I wrote about it in this very popular post of mine. Last year I expanded on that post, turning it into a mini eBook and printable pack that you can download for free when you sign up for my weekly email newsletter.
Thrifty Christmas Articles That Can Help You Keep Christmas Debt Free
Thrifty Gift Ideas
How to Turn These Tips Into A Debt Free Christmas Plan
Take some time and list out all the expenses of the Christmas season.
- Special events
- Food (both eating out and groceries)
Total up all these expenses and you will discover what Christmas is truly costing you.
Now that you know what Christmas really costs your family you need to decide how to pay for it.
Divide the total costs up by the number of months you have left until Christmas and make that your Christmas fund goal each month.
At the end of each month decide on how you plan to fund the Christmas fund for the month.
- Do you already earn enough to add that number to your budget?
- Could you resell enough items each month to cover the Christmas fund expense?
Perhaps you don’t need to pay the Christmas fund month to month?
- Could you fund the Christmas account entirely by having one huge yard sale, Craigslist blitz, or Facebook buy and sell selling spree and knock out the enter amount you need for Christmas in one month instead of several?
- Do you get a one time bonus at work each year that you could earmark for Christmas?
If you are looking at your Christmas fund needs and are realizing they are just not going to fit into your budget no matter what you resell or how many gift cards you set out to earn, then read all the money saving articles I have listed in this post or visit my Thrifty Christmas Tips page for a complete listing of my Christmas posts that can help you lower the costs of Christmas in ways that won’t make you feel like a cheap miser.
Get even more Thrifty Christmas Help From These Books
If you are a bookworm like I am you might prefer reading a book to clicking all over a blog to find information. If that is you, here are 3 books I think you should read if you are wanting to pull off a debt free Christmas this year.
1. 31 Days Of Living Well and Spending Zero: Freeze Your Spending. Change Your Life.
Although not a book on the topic of Christmas, 31 Days Of Living Well and Spending Zero will help you find the cash you need for Christmas through holding a 31 day spending freeze. It will also help you prepare your home–there is a whole week on cleaning and decluttering–and a week on finding your inner creativity to create gifts from craft supplies you already have on hand.
2. Keep The Happy In Your Holidays: 21 Ways To Save Time, Money, And Your Sanity This Christmas Season
Keep The Happy In Your Holidays is full of great ideas of how you can slash the price of Christmas without seeming like a scrooge.
3.Debt-Proof Your Christmas: Celebrating The Holidays Without Breaking the Bank
I read the original edition of Debt-Proof Your Christmas years ago and found if full of great, practical advice that will help you stay on track financially during the Christmas season.
4. Christmas On A Zero Budget: The mini eBook
This eBook of mine is short and sweet yet full of creative ways to fund Christmas this year. It is available free of charge when you sign up for my weekly newsletter and you can also grab the free printable pack of printables that will help you plan for a Christmas you can truly afford.