Thursday, May 7, 2009

Stress Less during the Holiday Season

Why am I talking about Christmas in May???!!! Because my husband once suggested the best tip for Christmas budgeting that has eliminated financial stress during the holidays almost entirely. The key is to start NOW.

Here's how it works:
  • Figure out your Holiday budget for 2009.
  • Divide that amount by 12 (divide by 8 if you're starting now for 2009).
  • Put that much money in your savings account each month.

It's that simple; common sense, really. But when he suggested this system, it seemed revolutionary to me--so much so that I actually resisted at first. Now that I have done it for a few years, I will NEVER turn back.


  • Keep a record. When gift-buying comes around, you will know exactly what you have to spend.
  • Stick to the budget. Sometimes I find this tip really difficult, but if I make it a game or a challenge to spend less than the budget, it becomes easier. In fact, as an incentive, I get half the surplus to spend, and the other half goes back into savings.


  1. Excellent!! Oops, I'm already 5 months behind!

  2. We actually figure our budget for Christmas, all birthdays (not only our kids, but siblings, parents and all), mothers & fathers days and about an extra $10-$15 a month for random neighbor/wedding/shower gifts, then divide by 12 and have that money automatically deposited into a checking account at a bank we don't use as often. Then whenever I buy gifts we buy them with that debit card/check book, and it never comes from the main bank we use (it's too easy for me to use up our savings when the budget gets tight each month, so the ONLY way I save is to save it somewhere more difficult to get to!)
    I still overspend at Christmas, big time, but at least now it doesn't dip into our normal budget quite so much!

  3. What a great idea! I think we'll start planning tomorrow :)