MTL Christmas - Page 33

my money I hate to start this out with the “B” word. But if you commit to setting up and sticking with a Christmas budget, it’s going to give you so much more freedom to enjoy and savor the season. Plus, you’ll be so glad you stuck with your budget when January rolls around and you don’t have to worry about any credit card bills! Take some time to look over your bank account and the money you have available and the money you’ll have coming in over the next week or two (if any), and decide what is a realistic budget amount to set aside for Christmas. If possible, only budget money you already have on hand, not money you are expecting to get in a paycheck soon. That way, you’re not banking on being able to spend money you don’t already have. Sticking with your Christmas budget may mean that you need to pare down who you buy gifts for. But that can be a good thing, because unfortunately, we often give out of guilt. Maybe we think we should get a certain someone a gift because he bought something for us last Christmas; or maybe the peoplepleaser in us hopes that by giving someone a nice gift, it will make her like us better. If you’re going � give someone a gift, do � � ble� �em — not � impre� �em If you think you’ll be tempted to overspend, even when you have set a budget in place, consider using cash only for your Christmas gifts. Take the money you’ve allotted for your Christmas budget out of the bank and put it in an envelope. This is what you have to spend for Christmas. Nothing less, nothing more. The beauty of using cash is that it provides instant self-discipline: when the money’s gone, it’s gone. You can’t go over budget when you use cash! Many independent businesses have websites with great selection and prices. Use Paypal and refund the money to your bank account immediately from your Christmas cash stash or use your Christmas cash to purchase gift cards for your online purchases. This is a bit more of a hassle, but it means you don’t have to worry about any unwanted credit card bills come January! With this in mind, evaluate your gift list. Do you really need to give a gift to your uncle’s neighbor’s dog? I’m pretty sure Fido will survive just fine without another fancy che ܁ѽ䰁ͼ)ٔͅ