Monday, April 26, 2010

Money Monday

It's time to talk about money again. Share your financial success stories, your money saving tips, or ask a question that you have and hopefully someone that stops by will have some advice for you. Write a post and put the post URL in the McLinky.

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Christmas is usually a time when people talk about money because they just don't seem to have enough to buy all the gifts they need to buy. A lot of people use credit cards to get through Christmas and then spend the next year paying for it. But then they need to use credit cards again for the next year... and the cycle continues and they are always behind.

When Mike and I first got married Christmas was tough for us. We didn't have the money to buy nice gifts for all the people that we used to buy gifts for. We had to make a tough decision and hope that people would understand. We let a lot of people know that we would no longer be doing the gift exchanges because we simply couldn't afford to keep doing that. We also decided that we would not start buying for nieces and nephews. Sure it's fun when there is only one or two but I have five siblings and Mike has three and when they start multiplying that is going to add up to big bucks at Christmas time. Not something we can do right now and enjoy doing.

Even though it was tough to let people know where we now stand on these things we are glad we made that decision. It has taken a lot of stress out of the holiday for us and we can enjoy it with our families.

I know Christmas is a long way off but it is something I think about all year long. I don't wait until December to try to figure out if I have money to spend on gifts or if I need to use credit cards. (Which I will never use credit cards so it would mean no gifts for anyone if I didn't have the money.) Instead I start in January. I decide how much money I want to have for Christmas gifts, divide that by twelve and then every month put aside that amount of money.

This not only means that I don't have to stress about money at all for Christmas... it also means that I have money all year long in the budget for Christmas so I can watch for sales and get great deals.

Doing this has made a huge difference in how much I am able to enjoy Christmas.



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