You have time to not go into debt for the holidays. If you are feeling anxious, stressed out and maxed out, take a deep breath. You aren’t alone.
Give yourself a little grace because you saw either the pin for this article or on Facebook or wherever and you wanted to learn How to Fix it.
You want to pay off your debt. That is a good thing. Many times we get so caught up in the moment and are quickly swiping here and there and shopping online where our info is stored, we aren’t really paying attention to the actual bank account.
The place that holds it all for us. We don’t need to get into the WHY you overspent on Christmas, or any holiday or event.
All you and I need to focus on right now is your future- debt free!
Envision your Debt Free Life
Imagine for a short minute what would your life look like debt free?
Three years ago my life was the complete opposite of now. What I learned through our financial struggles, and paying off our debt was to find contentment, and always take one step towards our goal.
It took us years, three years to be exact and it wasn’t all amazing. The end result is what is amazing. It’s like the saying about marriage- After 10 years marriage loses its romance between each other right?
The romance is when two people stay married for 50+ years.
In a way that is similar to your debt free financial journey. It’s the story, the path, the strength you and your partner build up through it.
Here are Three Things You Can Do Today to Get You One Step Closer to Paying Off That Debt
Take your credit cards out of your wallet and leave them at home.
The last thing you want to do is to be tempted to use them when you need to pay them off first. The first credit card I had to give up was my Kohl’s charge. I held on to the fact of needed it one year into our debt free journey. My husband kept telling me to get rid of it and I kept saying if I get rid of it I won’t get any 30%off coupons in the mail.
Well, I still get Kohl’s coupons in the mail and I just think 30% off are a bit rare these days anyway.
You have to let it go. Just let the fact you can’t spend extra now go. Don’t overthink or overcomplicate it. This isn’t how the rest of your life is going to look- it’s temporary. Since it is temporary you can handle this.
Get those credit cards and hide them away. Tell someone else to help hold you accountable.
Estimate your Spending For Next Year
You are going to need to do something painful here. You are going to need to get the credit card statement out and look at it. Dig into it and add it all up.
For me, I always try to get things for less or get bills down for less. I like to be a bit of an overachiever when it comes to debt. This is once I learned how to stop letting my emotions get in the way.
When you look at your statement and see your total amount owed, ask yourself if this is how much you want to spend again next year. If it is, you need to come up with a savings plan so you have all that cash ready to go in December or before your event you are saving for.
If your total amount spent was too high, and you are thinking, “What was I thinking?” That’s okay. You are making a change right now. Figure out how much you do want to come up with.
Let’s take a look at some numbers to give you a better idea.
According to an article done in Jan. 2018, from Market Watch, “Areas people go over budget on include last minute gifts (36%), regular holiday gifts (27%), food (27%), decorations (17%) and new holiday outfits (16%). ”
This will help you look at each of those categories to see which one you can cut back on.
If you go through your statement and realize you bought way to many last minute gifts, plan to get those people a gift next year or consider leaving them out of the budget.
Maybe you could plan early and make your own DIY gifts. If you plan ahead you can take advantage of after Holiday clearance. Target puts their holiday clearance 90% off original price. This would be a good time to look for those gifts that won’t be the last minute.-
If decorations was an area you went overboard, you probably won’t need any new ones next year. Reuse what you have.
How to Make The Right Budget
When you make a budget for next year’s Christmas or whatever event you are planning to figure out where you spend the most amount of money this time of year. For Christmas is it gifts? Travel?
Once you have that figured out, plan on how much you are willing to spend for that entire period.
For example, Christmas time you want to spend $500 on everything. Food, Gifts, Decoration, Travel.
Take that budget and divide it by the number of weeks or months left until Christmas.
For example, it’s January and you are starting now to plan for Christmas. You have a budget of $1,000 for Christmas. You need to come up with or save an extra $83 a month to hit your budget goal.
You can also plan a budget per person. If you want to spend $50 per family member and while you are shopping you only spend $30 thanks to some amazing online deals posted, you would use that other $20 towards another member or in your main Christmas budget.
Never let any dollar just go. Every dollar has to have a place to go.
Don’t let your thoughts overwhelm you. You got this. Better yet, God already has this ALL figured out for you. You just need to trust and obey. Dig in closer to him. Add in five extra minutes each day to pary about this financial area.