Christmas is coming.
It will be on December 25th this year, but you knew that already. You know it because Christmas is December 25th every year.
And yet, every year millions of people seem to be caught off guard. They rush around in the week prior, complaining about the crowds of people who waited so long to pick up gifts for their loved ones – oblivious to their own part in the crazed ritual of “last-minute shopping”.
The crush of bargain hunters & added stress isn’t even the worst of it, the worst of it is all those people going into debt for gifts they can’t afford – and then paying interest on that debt until the sale-priced coffee maker costs more than a trip to pick beans with Juan Valdez.
There is a simple solution: START NOW.
You don’t have to do your shopping yet, though you could. What you absolutely should do is plan your spending. Right now, this week and every week, put some money away towards your yuletide gifting. Whatever you can afford, take from your ‘main’ account and put it somewhere safe that it won’t be easily accessible.
What, you can’t afford $10 a week now? Guess what – that means you won’t be able to afford $10 a week after Christmas when that expense comes with extra, compounding interest. Plan ahead. Save yourself stress, save yourself money – get back to enjoying the Holidays.
Personal note: Even better than store-bought gifts are homemade gifts from the heart – at least to me. Or service gifts, I’d rather have someone get my oil changed or wash my car for me (something I *always* put off) than give me another candle, no matter how good it smells 🙂 Odds are your loved ones would prefer something from the heart to something from the mall. In my family we make homemade ornaments for each other; even though participation has waned a bit in recent years, it is still my second favorite part of the season (after the strawberry waffles 😀 )
If I have turned you off on Christmas shopping altogether, check out Scroogenomics…which is exactly what you would expect from a book with that title. I don’t agree with all his conclusions, but he does make some solid points