You Can Still Pay for Christmas with Real Money

“It’s the most wonderful time of the year…for the credit card companies.  There is much jingle belling and hearts will be telling of credit galore.  It’s the happiest season for more.”  Ok, so I reworded the old classic Carole.  But someone needs to say it, “don’t spend more than you can afford on Christmas- this year.”  Reign it back in if you didn’t save well.

I know this is late for a Christmas savings article, but wouldn’t it be nice to have saved some money for your Christmas shopping this season?

I am a guy who knows you are supposed to save for Christmas but rarely do… until lately.  Like Ebenezer Scrooge, if I haven’t saved for the holidays, I am in a pretty humbug mood.  If I haven’t saved, I am the guy who rails against the materialism of the season.  For goodness sake, Jesus Himself only got three gifts.  I am the guy who sabotages the Spirit of Generosity in my home.  My wife and my son are much more generous than I am and love to give gifts.  If we haven’t setback money, I wreck it for all of us.  But if I have saved, I am more like Tiny Tim- God bless us everyone.  Saving for Christmas has saved Christmas for us!

A few years ago, our family decided that we were going to buy Christmas with real money.  If fact, in my family of three we distribute cash to each one of us to buy the other family member’s gifts.  The budget is based on how well we saved.  Some years our budget is $300 ($100 given to every person to buy gifts for the others, practically that means I have $50 to spend on my wife and $50 to spend on my son).  Last year our budget was $450 ($150 per person to buy gifts) and this year we just sold a house, so we are bumping up to $600 ($200 per person to buy gifts).

I illustrate this just to say that having a plan that reflects the reality of your financial situation is important.  You may spend more or less than my family.  That doesn’t matter.  The specific numbers don’t matter but having a plan that you can afford does.

Don’t guilt-trip yourself if you are using credit this year but keep track of what you spend on gifts this year and decide now to start saving for Christmas next year.  May the Christmas of 2020 be a credit-free Christmas for you.  God bless us, everyone.

About The Budget Guys: 
For the last 10 years, The Budget Guys have been helping families and individuals get their financial lives together. Tim has been married to Terri for over 30 years and Chris has been married to Tiffany for over 20. We have both had our share of knock-down-drag-discussion over finances. So, we bring some experience. We would love to sit down with you at your kitchen table (metaphorically speaking, we actually meet in our offices), and lend a fresh set of eyes to your situation. For more info and budget help, check out

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