Christmas should be time spent celebrating the coming of a Saviour and relaxing with friends and family. Somehow it has turned into a budget busting, stressful frenzy! Christmas has always been difficult for us financially. It seems like December 25 sneaks up on us and next thing we know there are only 2 pay checks left to purchase all of the Christmas gifts and groceries for Christmas dinner. We would usually end up relying on the credit cards.
This year was different thanks to Dave Ramsey. I started thinking about Christmas 2009 the day after Christmas 2008. I made a list of Christmas gifts we needed to buy and started searching for good deals. Almost all of my Christmas shopping was done before Thanksgiving! I did go shopping on Black Friday for a few items but I had saved up money specifically for this purpose. I had a budget and cash in my wallet and I ended-up well under budget. What a wonderful and peaceful feeling. There was no financial crunch, no charging and no stress this year. We focused on the true meaning of Christmas and not on the retail store rush.
I am already planning and shopping for Christmas 2010 (go here for details) and have even purchased several gifts for next year . I budgeted money for after Christmas shopping and there is also money in the budget each month for Christmas shopping. If you have never tried budgeting for Christmas all year, I highly recommend it. I cannot even begin to describe the financial peace this brings. This would be a perfect New Year's Resolution and it is a goal that can be easily achieved.
For more New Year's financial goals, visit Frugal Friday at Life as Mom.