The Christmas Debt Hangover

Posted on: Dec 05, 2013

Categories: Motivation

Christmas DebtFirst off: Merry Christmas!

Secondly: What’s it going to cost you?

#1 Gifts for kids, family, and friends. And your budget for that is: $ ______

Most people think that’s their whole Christmas budget. Let’s continue, shall we?

#2 Clothing for everyone in your family for the special events you’ll be attending in the month of December: the kids’ Christmas play, church with grandma, attending the Nutcracker Ballet, Christmas Eve with relatives you don’t like. If your kids have grown out of their dress clothes and your wife needs that matching pair of shoes, it’s going to cost you.

#3 Dinner and drinks out with friends and family. Gingerbread Martini, anyone? That’ll be $14.50.

#4 Wrapping paper, Christmas cards, postage, tape, bows, and mailing gifts to distant relatives.

#5 Donations to worthy causes or charitable organizations you believe in.

#6 Five to ten gifts that come up at the last minute, such as: gifts for your kids’ teachers, your business partners, co-workers, your daughter’s boyfriend that showed up Christmas Eve – surprise! (I recommend a stash of gift cards or a quick trip to Costco for some generic, yet thoughtful, gift ideas.)

#7 Any and all gifts for your significant other. Make sure you include this in the budget as well. (Gentlemen, I believe you should always spend 25% over the amount you agreed upon, but I’ll leave that up to you.)

#8 New Christmas tree, lights, the inflatable Santa you “just had to have” for the lawn.

#9 Pictures with Santa, going ice skating, visiting the Christmas trains, seeing the Christmas light shows, and watching the lighting of the large tree downtown.

The reason I’m laying this all out for you is so that you can go into the holiday season with a realistic budget of what you can spend on each category, rather than ending the year looking forward to the credit card debt you racked up to spread holiday cheer.

Remember: the best gift you’ll give this holiday season is your attention. Put down your phone and have real conversations with your kids, your spouse, and your guests, and this could be the best Christmas ever.


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