How To Feel Good About Christmas In January

man in santa claus costume
Photo by bruce mars on Pexels.com

Christmas in January?  You know what I’m talking about – Christmas in February, March, April…. the gift that keeps on giving, through credit card debt.

I don’t know about you, but Christmas is by far my favorite holiday.  There is just something about the nostalgia of the decorated houses, the smell of cookies, the presents, and all the food that brings me back to my childhood.  I can’t help but be giddy around Christmastime which usually ends with me buying more than I should.

I have such fond memories of Christmas and when I am in a store filled with toys, I have trouble controlling my spending habits.  I want everyone else to experience that Christmas spirit so I usually splurge and buy things I know will make others happy.  I want my kids to have great memories of Christmas which results in them being showered with so many toys they hardly ever play with half of them.  In fact, as I write this, my wife is going through my daughters room getting rid of all the toys and junk she doesn’t play with anymore.  Our house is so cluttered with things that rarely if ever get used – tell me I’m not alone in this?

These spending habits around Christmas have a lasting impact into the next year with credit card debt.  Those gifts just keep on giving, in the form of monthly bills and statements.  Quite a few years ago, my wife and I decided to stop the blind Christmas buying and to start saving for Christmas months in advance.  By putting Christmas in the budget around June and July, we can slowly save up cash to pay off all our Christmas shopping without putting anything on credit.  I also pick up several additional side jobs in November and December to ensure we don’t put anything on a credit card.

In addition to budgeting Christmas, my wife frequently buys items throughout the year and stashes them away for Christmas.  It is usually a comical sight in December when we go through all her hiding spots and find things she doesn’t even remember buying.  It’s even more comical when we find items hidden a few months later after Christmas that we forgot about.  By shopping throughout the year, the stress of holiday shopping is greatly decreased as is the impulse buying and poor planning.

Can you imagine a Christmas that ended in December?  It’s actually quite amazing but rarely done by Americans.  Do you know how much the average American spent on Christmas in 2017? They spent an average of $967.13 on gifts for friends and loved ones.¹

grayscale portrait photo of shocked woman
Photo by Alexander Krivitskiy on Pexels.com

That’s right, the average American who doesn’t even have $1,000 in their savings account is spending $1,000 at Christmas² and I’m willing to bet they didn’t save up cash for it.

I’m not advocating cutting the Christmas spending down – well OK, maybe I am a little – but start budgeting for it in the middle or even the beginning of the year.  It’s not like we don’t know when its coming, they start putting Christmas trees in stores in October!

I challenge you to celebrate Christmas this year in December, and only December.  If you can’t pay cash for it, don’t buy it.  Start budgeting for it this month and work an extra side hustle if you need more money.  Let’s make this Christmas more memorable by refusing to celebrate it in the first few months of next year!

How many months into the next year have you celebrated Christmas?  Are you still “celebrating?”  Comment below, I’d love to hear your story! If you haven’t signed up to receive future articles by email, please add yourself at the bottom of this page. If you have topics you would like future blogs about, let me know and I will add them to the agenda. Stay safe my friends -you work too hard to be this broke!

If you found this article beneficial, please share it across social media.  I’m trying to reach and help as many people as I can – and I need your help!

-Ryan

Related articles:Budget Isn’t A Bad Word

¹https://www.investopedia.com/financial-edge/1112/average-cost-of-an-american-christmas.aspx

²https://www.cnbc.com/2017/09/13/how-much-americans-at-have-in-their-savings-accounts.html

 

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Author: Ryan

Hi!  My name is Ryan and I have a passion for personal finance and education.  I am married and have three children, a girl and two boys all under the age of ten.  My wife stays home with the kids so it can be challenging to live off one income.  Much of what I write is based off my personal experiences and what I have learned in the course of my life. My financial journey began when my wife and I saved up a sum of money and I didn't know who I could trust to invest it.  After several interviews with financial advisers, I still didn't feel like I could trust anyone.  That began my journey to educate myself by reading every finance book I could get my hand on and by attending financial seminars.  After getting a good handle on debt, finance, and investments, I decided to start this blog as a resource for others who find it difficult to trust people with their money. I recently started writing this blog about how to get out of debt and start investing to create the future you deserve. I have been in law enforcement for 14 years and I have seen the devastation left behind by people who mismanage their finances.  I started this blog because I want to help as many people I can by educating them on common sense money management. As far as my formal education, I obtained a Bachelor of Science in Education and a Master of Administration Degree from Northern Arizona University.  I am an adjunct professor at a local community college and I have been a student of finance for many years. This blog is dedicated to those looking to eliminate their debt and to mold a new way of thinking, living, and spending. Education, focused on financial stability and wealth, is the main purpose of this blog. This website is a new journey for me and I know there are areas that I could improve.  Please feel free to reach out to me with any critiques - I would love the feedback so I can be as effective as I possibly can and provide the most relevant information.  I look forward to writing for you and learning with you! If you have any questions or comments, I would love to hear from you! -Ryan

2 thoughts on “How To Feel Good About Christmas In January”

  1. I don’t buy Christmas gifts anymore, but I love this concept. My mom and grandma have birthdays around that time, so I get them something. Usually a nice card for Christmas.

    Like

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