To be precise, a few years ago, in 2010, my husband and I made our last payment on our debt. We were officially debt free !!
It felt amazing. We had made it through a lot of hard work and sacrifice. We’d done everything to save so we could throw a lot of money on our debts.
A few months later, the holidays rolled around. Now you might think we went crazy to party, but we didn’t.
We still have a budget set. We have saved. But the funny thing is that it allowed us to indulge ourselves too!
Our family had worked together to pay our bills. We had sacrificed the food. We didn’t go on vacation.
I cut off coupons. My husband and I sold items.
It was a lot of sacrifice, but it was very worth it. We had achieved our goal.
And we wanted to celebrate.
We decided to have a little more fun this first Christmas. And if we were smart, we could do what we wanted.
LESS CAN BE MORE
We told our children that they would only get 2 presents under the tree from mom and dad. This enabled us to spend a little more on the big ticket item at Christmas.
You didn’t miss opening more gifts. In fact, they didn’t even notice that there was less.
GIVE THE PRACTICAL
Some of the gifts we gave to our children and to each other were things that were needed. Under the tree there were pajamas and a new coat from Grandma.
If you focus on adding more gifts by including the items you need, you can spend more of the vacation budget on the fun things!
SAVE ALL YEAR ROUND
Once our debts were fully paid off, we had a little more money to spare every month. We didn’t spend it. We put it in savings.
For example, our car payment was just over $ 300 per month. We didn’t increase our food expenses or went out for dinner. Instead, we paid ourselves.
And we have also continued our methods of saving in business. We used the same budget methods to get out of debt. But instead of sending money to the creditors, we paid ourselves.
We’ve saved hundreds every month. Then when the vacation came we had a little more money to get the extra things we wanted.
USE YOUR BUDGET
Your budget is still necessary for the holidays. You have to make sure. You follow him. Budget the big ticket items and find a way to get the numbers working.
That’s exactly what we did. We had our budget. We knew we wanted to buy our kids a video game system for about $ 200.
That was a great amount for a single item for her. We have simply adjusted some of our editions and also found cheaper items for the gaming platform.
Whatever you do, never spend more than you have in the bank or saved. Never go into debt to pay for the holidays.
Remember the reason for the season
When it comes to the holidays, it’s easy to put yourself in the shoes of the “stuff”. But that doesn’t matter.
Family and friends are what to focus on. If you can’t do the splurge – then you can’t. Your children or spouse will love you no matter what.
What they need most is knowing that you are there for them and that you have the chance to be together and celebrate the warmth of the season.
Focus on traditions. That may mean you found PJs the night before, read the “Christmas Story” before bed, or had kung pao chicken for lunch on Christmas Day.
The holidays are about more than just money. Never forget that.