The Holidays are Coming! The Holidays are Coming!

Um yes, you know it is right around the corner – the holiday season. Time to start planning and shopping. Keyword – PLANNING. It is time to set a budget and stick to it. I have budgeted for $1000 for Christmas this year. It sounds like a lot of money but we have a very large extended family who live very close to us. I should have started saving this summer, but as usual, I did not. My lack of planning skills is what always gets us into trouble.

I am slowly getting our budget in order. I am caught up in Quickbooks and entered our budget in EveryDollar. Boy, is it dismal, folks. I still need to find more things to cut from our budget or increase our household income by quite a bit to create our zero-based budget according to the Dave Ramsey principles. This is not the easiest thing to do with the holiday coming up, but I am determined to get us out of this mess once and for all!

This is what I found this week while searching online for tips regarding planning for the upcoming holidays:

  1. Dave Ramsey : “How to Start Saving for Christmas Today”. Dave is always great at keeping it simple. This is a quick read regarding how to get started. Of course, EveryDollar is mentioned. As I mentioned earlier, I am also using this app. It’s a great tool – and it’s FREE! I recently started using it again in addition to Quickbooks. I really like the new feature that lets you establish funds for certain items (ahem – like Christmas!)
  2. The Balance : “6 Ways to Save for the Holidays”. This article has some more great tips, such as finding a seasonal job to make some extra money. I thought about doing the same thing, but my husband and I decided that he would work the extra hours instead. It is better for our family since he earns much more per hour than I would working retail.
  3. Money Crashers: “9 Best Ways to Save Money During the Holiday Season”. This is another good article that goes into a lot more detail. It also mentions the ‘Secret Santa” method of gift giving, which is perfect for larger families. (I need to get some of my family members on board with this one!). Creating wonderful memories doesn’t have to be expensive.

Well, that’s all I have for this week. Get planning, everyone; and don’t forget to have fun doing it!

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