How much do you plan on spending this year? Consider these questions:
· Who is on your wish list?
· How much are you willing to spend?
· Most importantly, how much can you spend?
To determine the amount available in your budget, look for surplus or reductions to cover the costs of your Christmas spending. Maybe you can skip going out to eat twice for the next couple of months to find the extra $100 to save for gift giving.
Case Study: Kaitlin and Trent
Kaitlin and Trent are paying off his student loan debt; they are making an extra payment of $800 each month. When they stick to their plan, they have an extra $200 a month to apply to savings for anticipated upcoming costs, such as car repairs. They have their Christmas list of naughty and nice family and friends that they wish to give to this year, along with a maximum dollar amount for each “nice” person.” Once added all up, they plan on spending $1000 this December. Their plan to save for this includes two prongs. First, they apply the $200 extra from August to November, giving them $800 by December. Second, they apply any extra cash they have each week from their spending cash to reach the $1000. The goal here is to continue to pay down debt, even in December, and feel complete joy over giving to loved ones. After all, Christmas is about the joy of giving. And it is so much better when you can give and keep on track with your financial goals. Imagine how great it is going to feel come December when they have this bucket or Santa’s bag to pull cash out of when buying those great Christmas gifts for their fam…or their financial coach?