4 STEPS TO GET FINANCIALLY PREPARED FOR CHRISTMAS

Christmas is not an emergency. December comes the same time every year.Why are we stressed financially at Christmas when we have all year to plan for it? We know it’s coming!

Let’s have this year be a stress-free holiday. I’ve been there – super tight in December (even hoping I get monetary gifts from my family to make up for the stretch of buying gifts). I’ve never gotten into debt for Christmas (because I’ve never had a credit card), but it’s still a pretty bad feeling being tight around such a wonderful time of year. I am committed to have stress-free and debt-free Christmases every year. And you can, too!

 

Here are 4 steps to get financially ready for Christmas.

1. DETERMINE HOW MUCH YOU CAN AFFORD TO SPEND ON CHRISTMAS

Look at your finances from now until Christmas. Hopefully, this means you’ll look at your budget. If you haven’t started budgeting yet, you can learn how to budget or you can visit Kimisitu Sacco they have the best savings plan. Whatever you do — do something! The first step to creating a debt-free Christmas is knowing what money you have (and don’t have), which means you need to budget. Decide exactly how much money you can afford to take from your expected income between now and December for Christmas. You want the exact number because it will allow you to plan more accurately.

2. TAKE INVENTORY OF CHRISTMAS EXPENSES

Make a list of all of your Christmas expenses. This should include everything from gifts to decorations to food to activities.

Here’s a short list of examples that you should include on your Christmas expenses list:

Gifts – significant other, kids, parents, siblings, coworkers, friends, in-laws, nieces / nephews

Decorations – lights, tree, ornaments, candles, stockings, garland, other holiday house décor

Food – Christmas dinner, Christmas breakfast, potluck food for parties, candy for stockings, holiday cakes / pies, treats for the neighbors, hot chocolate and candy canes

Activities – ice skating, skiing, lights at the zoo, gingerbread houses for the kids, holiday movies, picture with Santa, Christmas parties

Donations – The children’s home or other charities

Misc. – holiday photos, Christmas cards, Christmas music

3. FILL IN THE GAP

Now, compare what you can afford with what you project your holiday expenses to be. Address any gap between what your projected Christmas spending is and what you can afford. If you projected that you’ll spend ksh 10,000 on Christmas, but your budget only allows for ksh 7,000, you need to fill in that ksh 3,000.

Here are my suggestions for filling in your gap between what you can afford spend on Christmas and what you want to spend on Christmas.

Side hustle – Pick up a side job .Anything you can do on the side after your day job is over to make a few extra hundred dollars is something to consider as a side hustle here.

Adjust your spending on gifts (get creative) – Instead of setting your usual ksh 500 or ksh 1000 for a budget for someone’s gift, get creative. You can spend a lot less on gifts by putting thought into gifts and getting creative with the packaging. Two of my favorite things to give during the holidays are coffee and candles.

4. START NOW Start shopping now instead of waiting until the last minute. If you have your projected spending budgeted, there is no reason to wait until a better sale comes along (unless you know one is coming for sure). Being stressed around the holidays is the exact opposite of what you want! If you use your holiday budget and plan ahead, buying gifts should be a joy.

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