Who wants to think about Christmas when the spectacular summer weather is right around the corner? You do! Because, if you start with a plan now, your Christmas finances will be so much less stressful.
With ever-expanding Christmas lists, it is sometimes hard to complete your Christmas shopping without a credit card. I personally have problems with credit cards for two reasons: 1) the exorbitant interest rates you are charged if you don’t pay off in full your balance owing; and 2) it is way too easy to over spend when you don’t see that total deducted immediately out of your bank account.
So how do you manage Christmas without credit cards?
My first tip is a budget: I know it is old school, but when you add up the $50 for this person and the $48 for that person and so on, the grand total can be pretty shocking. My suggestion is to start with what you’d like to spend on each person. Add it all up. Then when you are shocked by that number, start reducing and stick to it! We’d all love to be Santa Claus and make wildest toy dreams come true, but unfortunately that’s not always possible.
Secondly, once you have that grand total, start saving. It is as simple as that. Save. And do it now. Have your financial institution take a deduction automatically off each pay-cheque and deposit it to a Christmas account. Or sign up for one of the programs at the banks or credit unions where they will transfer over $1 (or more) from your chequing account to your savings account every time you use your debit card. Or, every time you are doing your online banking, round-up your bills to the nearest $10 and move the difference over to the savings account. I promise you will not miss the money when it is saved like this.
Another great idea is to save your reward points for Christmas shopping. I try to save all my Chapters “plum rewards” all year to help out at Christmas and I do the same with my grocery rewards and Air Miles.
Whatever you choose I wish you a Credit Card Free Christmas!