I love to spend at the holidays but don’t enjoy the anxiety that comes with paying for everything. I guess I could call myself a recovering credit card addict and the holidays are full of temptations to spend on bright shiny objects. I’ve come up with a few rules for my debt-free holiday spending plan.
First, I opened up a holiday saving account at my credit union. I can’t withdraw the funds until November of each year. Since I know I can’t take the money out at a moment’s notice; I’m conservative with the amount I put into the account. Every month after all the bills are paid in full I decide how much to transfer into the holiday saving account and how much to add to debt repayment. I estimate saving $20 a paycheck to cover all these expenses with no debt, no stress and few travel reward points. I pay for the above items using a rewards credit card and pay it off in full using the money in my holiday saving account.
Debt-Free Holiday Spending Budget:
Turkeys and roasts can get pricey, so I budget about $175 for this expense and a couple of celebrations out with friends.
Gifts for co-workers
This is my most expensive item, I’m the boss and feel it’s important to show my appreciation for everyone’s hard work throughout the year. Also, I need to contribute to my boss’s gift each year. I prefer to not burden people, even family with unwanted gifts, so I opt for consumables. Who doesn’t love a beautiful box of chocolate or a bottle of their favorite hooch! $200 Before I became the boss I budgeted $50 for holiday gifts for co-workers and unless you’re the one who cooks for the holidays your meal budget might be lower.
Gifts for family and friends
Again I opt for consumables. If I’m tight on time I grab a catalog and send gift baskets and a card or if I’m exceptionally organized I’ll plan out a few homemade consumable gift items for a more personal touch. I love getting together with a friend and cooking up some homemade cookies and pies for gifting. $150 One of my favorite catalogs is Williams and Sonoma, I send out an order of frozen mini croissants for under $30, elegant and yummy.
I have everything I need, but once in a while, I might find something too good to pass up. $25
Wishing you a debt-free holiday season!