It’s about this time each year where you start hearing the “Christmas In July Sales Event” promotions on the radio. It’s just another sales gimmick for your local car dealerships and furniture stores but it sure helps me make a point about saving for Christmas early.
Many people just “wing it” when it comes to spending at Christmas and decide to just see what the damage is after the holiday season is complete. If you fit into this category, you obviously know what comes in January – The Bills. In fact, many of you may still be paying for last Christmas! To help ease your pain, I found a funny poem called ‘Twas The Bills After Christmas that details the after Christmas period that you may have recently encountered.
‘Twas the day after Christmas, and all through the house,
Every creature was hurtin’, even the mouse.
The toys were all broken, their batteries dead;
Santa passed out, with some ice on his head.
Wrapping and ribbons just covered the floor,
while upstairs the family continued to snore.
And I in my T-shirt, new Reeboks and jeans,
I went into the kitchen and started to clean.
When out on the lawn there arose such a clatter,
I sprang from the sink to see what was the matter.
Away to the window I flew like a flash,
Tore open the curtains, and threw up the sash.
When what to my wondering eyes should appear,
But a little white truck, with an oversized mirror.
The driver was smiling, so lively and grand;
The patch on his jacket said “U.S. POSTMAN.”
With a handful of bills, he grinned like a fox
Then quickly he stuffed them into our mailbox.
Bill after bill, after bill, they still came.
Whistling and shouting he called them by name:
“Now Dillard’s, now Broadway’s, now Penny’s and Sears
Here’s Robinson’s, Levitz’s and Target and Mervyn’s.
To the tip of your limit, every store, every mall,
Now charge away–charge away–charge away all!”
He whooped and he whistled as he finished his work.
He filled up the box, and then turned with a jerk.
He sprang to his truck and he drove down the road,
Driving much faster with just half a load.
Then I heard him exclaim with great holiday cheer,
“Enjoy what you got. . . . . .you’ll be paying all year!”
Does that sound like your life? If so, I want to help you avoid this merry-go-round next year.
Personally, my wife and I start saving for Christmas several months before the actual expense occurs. As I mentioned in my post last week on How To Prepare a Budget, it’s best to prepare an annual spending plan to detail when and how expenses are going to be paid. In our annual spending plan, we begin saving for Christmas in October of each year. We save $250 per month until Christmas for a total of $750. Therefore, when the time rolls around to buy our gifts, we just pay with cash. No bills for us come January!
I’m mentioning this tactic now because you may not be able to save $250 per month in your current situation. However, you may be able to save $100 per month starting now. By doing this, you will have $600 for Christmas just in time for your annual shopping spree (that’s now paid for in cash).
Start saving now!
~ Adam photo by: 401(K) 2012