Can I let you in on a secret?
I’m not a big Christmas person. I stopped feeling the “Christmas magic” several years ago, and since we don’t often get to spend it with family, Christmas is generally pretty low key at my house.
This year, we are going through more of the motions than we generally would since my cousin-in-law is living with us and most of our friends are also staying in town; that’s causing me a lot of stress. I’ve already spent way more money on Christmas presents than I should have, but every time I think I’m almost done, I remember someone else. I am so petrified that I will forget someone, or not be able to finish making the presents I have left that I’m not doing well at almost everything else.
The chaos and stress of the holiday season is often more complicated than just the extra financial burden, but wouldn’t it feel more manageable if the financial part was taken care of? The more organized already know what to buy and for whom, and can purchase things, wrap and store them throughout the year, but even if that’s not you, you can still do something very little throughout the year to help you be more financially prepared for the holiday season, and that starts with a trip to your bank.
Sometime very shortly after the end of December paycheck, go to your bank and open a savings account that is set up to have a set amount automatically transferred (you not having to do it every month will help be sure it happens and at most banks will keep this account free) to it from your checking account on the day or day after you get your money to the bank once a month. Treat this like you would any other bill that you would pay, and do what you need to do in order to leave the money alone during the year. By December, you could have a few hundred extra dollars to spend.
Let’s say you typically cut it pretty close by the end of the month, but you think you can spare $25.00 a month for your holiday funds. $25.00 per month or 12 times a year will leave you with $300.00 by December.
Have any other ideas for making the holidays less stressful? I would love to hear them in the comments below.