We're not even out of July and we're talking about the distant holiday season? With a little planning now you can spare yourself the sticker shock of Christmas spending.
Photo by pagedooley.We know it might seem odd to be talking about holiday spending in the middle of summer and in the midst of economic gloom. But GFC or no, however, people will be spending money come the end of the year even if it's less than the usual amount.
Don't get blind-sided by holiday expenses and enter the new year with a balance on your credit card and some mutterings about how you'll do it differently next year. LaToya Irby, the About.com guide to credit and debt, has a method of diffusing her spending over the last half of the year:
1. Decide who I'm going to buy for 2. Decide how much I'm going to spend on them 3. Add it up 4. Divide by the number of paychecks left until ~December 15 5. Open a special savings account and save that amount each paycheck
This technique ensures you have enough money set aside for your Christmas spending but it also offers you an oppurtunity to assess your spending a sufficient distance from the holidays. It's much easier to set realistic spending limits for Christmas when you're half a year away from them than during the usually stressful weeks leading up to them.
Are you a long-term holiday planner? Not planning on doling out gifts or holiday travel this year? Sound off in the comments.
It's Time to Start Saving for Christmas [About.com]