Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Planning for Christmas 2011

Does the sight of a Christmas tree make you want to hurl? Does it make you cringe to even think about Christmas? I can just hear some readers screaming, "it is 347 days away for crying it out loud".

What makes me cringe is realizing how much we spent on Christmas in 2010. Since we use credit cards for almost all of our purchases, we are paying the bills now for our Christmas presents. And even though we have the money to pay the bills off completely, I am still a bit queasy as I push the send button on my online bill payer.

As an experiment, I switched to cash in 3 categories: groceries, dining out and clothing on January 1st. I have now decided to add gift giving to the list of cash categories. I added up what we spent on gifts for the entire year in 2010 and reduced that by 20%. I then divided that new number by 12 and that is the dollar amount that I am going to transfer to a savings account every month. I'll use that money through out the year for birthday gifts along with Christmas presents in December.

I'm hoping that if I plan now, I'll spend less later.

Have you started to think about your Christmas spending for 2011? It is only 347 days away.

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  1. I HEAR you!! We had the money to pay our credit card bill, but it was SO painful to do it! I started shopping for Christmas 2011 at the pre- and post-Christmas sales this year. I've done it in years past and it really helps me stretch my budget. Every year we do an advent box for my parents - which means somewhere between 12 and 24 small gifts and/or chocolates. I scored on the after-Christmas sales (though forgot to use my coupons - kicking myself!) for the chocolates and managed to get almost half of their gifts for next year - some of them at 75% off. By shopping the sales, it allows me to give nicer gifts than if I paid full-price. As of a few days ago, the only item we're using our credit card for is buying gas for the car. No more sick feeling when the credit card bill arrives. :-)

  2. We don't put anything on a credit card if we can't pay it oFF that month. The rates are CRAZY and I will not pay 20, 25 or 30% interest on a purchase, no way. I hope you will be able to stick with your plan, it is a good one:):) XO, Pinky

  3. I too have already started thinking about next Christmas. I had to smile when I read the title of your post because my Christmas post is still in my head, fermenting. Maybe in another week or two I will get mine written.

  4. I’ve recently started a blog, the information you provide on this site has helped me tremendously. Thank you for all of your time & work.

  5. I think we are all better off planning ahead. I mean, Christmas is Dec 25 every year..it isn't a surprise!


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