3-steps-to-creating-a-family-chrismtas-budgetAs I’m writing this, Christmas is fast-approaching and you’re likely being bombarded with ads for the hottest stuff.  Even if you’re reading this and Christmas is not so close then I hope that you’ve saved for purchases.

Don’t put your gifts on a credit card unless you have the cash reserves to pay it off right away!

Christmas is not an emergency either so don’t go into your emergency fund to pay for gifts.  Guess what?!?  Christmas will be on December 25th next year too!  Don’t let it sneak up on you, take action now!

The best thing to do is start saving by putting money back every week or month for next Christmas as the new year begins.  When the holidays roll around next year, you’ll be sitting pretty and ready to roll.  Hey, no more holiday or post holiday debt stress!

What if I don’t have the cash?  That’s easy.  If you don’t have anything saved then I advise getting creative to reduce the spend.  When it comes to buying for the kids I know that you’ll go ahead and put their stuff on a card if you don’t have the cash.

Your little Ralphie has been waiting all year for his Red Ryder BB gun. At least this one comes with shooting glasses for eye protection!

If you do go with credit card (WARNING), then pay that card off ASAP and think ahead by saving a little at a time for next year!  If you get a little reckless with that card then buy a pair of these bad boys and take care of that card for good!

$10 to $25 per week makes for a nice Christmas shopping budget come next November.  Over 48 weeks that is $480 to $1200 respectively.  Go ahead and start an automatic transfer to a checking/savings account solely for Christmas, Birthdays, and other giving or gifting.

Christmas shouldn’t be about buying the latest ‘hot’ or ‘cool’ stuff anyways right?  Especially if you’re giving to distant relatives, friends, or coworkers then go ahead and plan on doing something that only costs you the time and love to make or prepare a gift.  Maybe you bake them a batch of cookies or simply give them a card expressing your thankfulness for their relationship.

Here are 3 simple steps to creating a debt-free Christmas budget.

  • Figure out how much you can spend total.
  • Determine who you will buy for and how much for each person.
  • Don't spend more than you have budgeted.

It’s really as simple as that.  The hardest part is coming to the conclusion that you don’t have to spend money to have a merry Christmas.  You can spend less this year than you did last year but be happier and nobody will know or really care.  Spend only what you’ve budgeted.  If you don’t have the money then be creative and come up with some alternatives.

I’ve created an easy-to-use Family Christmas Budget Template that you can download and fill out to help you stay on track.  By sticking to your budget then you can ensure that you’ll have a debt-free Christmas and a Happy New Year!

Download the Family Christmas Budget Template here (Excel) or here (Google Sheet).  The Google Sheet may work better for you on a mobile device.

Christmas Budget Template
The Christmas Budget Template

The Christmas Budget template is easy to use.

  1. Download it.  It’s available in Excel or Google Sheet format. (If you’re on a mobile device then then Google Sheet may be a better option.)
  2. Open it in your favorite spreadsheet app such as MS Excel, Google Sheets, or Open Office.
  3. Enter your total budget amount in the cell under ‘Total Budget’.
  4. Enter all of your family and friends in the cells in the ‘Name’ column along with the budget for each in the ‘Budget’ column.
  5. As you buy gifts, enter the amount spent in the ‘Spent’ column.
  6. Make sure that you don’t overspend!

**If you want to unlock or unprotect the sheet (Excel Only) then the password is ‘budget’.  Only a couple of the calculated cells or ones with a formula are locked to keep you and I from messing up.

I really do hope that this post and resource helps you!  God Bless and Happy Holidays!

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