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Christmas is here! ????????????????

Okay, not for another year, BUT…

Now is the time to start budgeting and saving.

I know! I know!

You have been avoiding looking at your bank statement.

You are ready for a long winter’s nap ????.

You just want to ignore the fact that your pants seem to have shrunk, by a lot! ????

But it’s those times when you just want to hide from it all that you’ve got to toss those leftover cookies, hop on that treadmill, and build a budget for the next Christmas, so you can enjoy the holiday and skip the financial hangover!

I’ve put together a few easy steps to help you build a foundation for a stress-free holiday and a financially stable aftermath. ????????

 

Set a Spending Limit

One of the easiest ways to set your limit is to take a look at ALL of your Christmas purchases, track your spending, then set your amount for next year accordingly.

Once you have your budget amount, divide it by 12 and start putting away that amount every month ????. You can even create a separate checking account for that money.

Tip?

Try and set it a little lower than what you spent last year.

For example:

  • Dial it back with gifts for the kids.
  • Download apps for the stores you use to be aware of discounts and coupons.
  • Endure the Black Friday, 5:00 a.m. alarm, brave the crowds, and get those discounts!

Christmas is a season of giving, BUT don’t go into the red trying to “prove” to people how much you love them.

Takeaway? Dollar signs don’t equal love and appreciation.

 

Shop Alone

Did you know women who shop with their girlfriends are 62% more likely to spend more money?? ????‍♀️

You know where this is headed.

Don’t get me wrong, I love to shop with my daughters. We have such a good time together, BUT I also know we women can be a little too good at encouraging where shopping is concerned; a supportive relative or friend might be your bank account’s worst enemy ????????.

Oh, you look great in that! You have to get it! ????

You deserve this! ????

That fits you SOOO well; you should get another one in a different color! ????

Mayday! Mayday! Financial iceberg ahead! ????

I know shopping with friends or family is more fun, but those group shopping trips usually include going to lunch or a cup of coffee, and all that adds up.

Takeaway? Do yourself a favor. Skip the group trip, spare the bank account, and fly solo.

 

Pay Cash

I shared in another blog, Three Lessons for Financial Peace about how children’s toy cash registers now come with a little plastic credit card.

Most people don’t think anything of it. Why?

Because debt has become the norm. ????‍♀️

Gary and I have seen and experienced enough financial turmoil to know that CREDIT IS NO TOY.

Research shows that people typically spend more when they use a credit card than they do when they pay in cash.

It might feel like fake money, but I know all too well that each debt you carry steals from your happiness and well-being.

Pay attention here because I am about to drop some heavy truth on you…

Your financial habits are habits that bleed into other areas of your life, i.e., trouble controlling spending = trouble controlling others areas.

Takeaway? Using cash when you go shopping, especially for Christmas, is a great way to control your spending.

I want to encourage you to make a commitment to control your spending and be disciplined with your finances. I believe if you use these simple tips you are in for a stress-free holiday, AND I believe you will see amazing results in ALL the other areas of your life too!

Go HERE for some great Bible verses about self-control. When you feel yourself getting a little too lax about spending or any other area of your life, read these!

Here is one of my favorites:

A man without self-control is like a city broken into and left without walls” (Proverbs 25:28).

I just want you to know I am here cheering you on, praying for you, ???? and believing in all the wonderful blessings God has for you!

I want to spare you that lost time that we spent toiling away, feeling stressed and hopeless.

To learn more about the financial principles that brought Gary and me out of debt, go HERE and check out Gary’s book Fixing the Money Thing.

Also, to learn more about mastering the art of positive thinking, go HERE and check out my book, Better Than You Feel. This awesome book is full of honest personal stories, heartfelt encouragement, and practical exercises for making your emotions work for you.

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