365 Days of Christmas is keeping the spirit alive
all year to enliven your world.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Get Organized Now for Christmas - Day 9 - General Budgeting

As the economy gets more uncertain everyday some may be dreading Christmas because of what you feel you cannot do because of money issues. Money does not equal a merry Christmas. Having a merry Christmas comes from within . . . Christmas is a time about sharing love and time with family and friends and there are many ways to reduce the cost of the holiday season.

Budget is a word many people want to forget at Christmas-time, but it is an important part of our holiday celebration.

To come up with a realistic figure to work with for holiday shopping this year, crunch your numbers. Be realistic about the amount. Dave Ramsey recommends a plan that I have adapted where you write down all the different things you need to purchase for the Christmas season. Examples may include baking ingredients, photographs, activities, charity donations, church donations, clothing, hostess gifts, decorations, postage,
Christmas cards, and gifts. Add any items items you normally spend money on during the holidays.

Gifts need a sheet all to itself. On your this page, break down the types of
gifts you give, such as, gifts for home, gifts for immediate family outside of home, gifts for extended family, stocking gifts, gifts for friends, gifts for teachers, gifts for church family, etc. This will help give you an idea of everyone you would like to give gifts so you can judge whom to cross off the gift list when money gets tight.

Now that you have your categories, divide up the amount of money you have to spend on Christmas and budget each section out. Your total budget has to match the CASH you have on hand.

Remember that you do not have to spend a lot of money to have a wonderful Christmas season— gifts come in many forms throughout the season.

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