Well, it’s Christmas time!  This is the time of year when most people go into debit buying gifts only to get a gift from the credit card company in the form of a big credit card bill.

I know you’ve said you’re not going to run up your credit cards this year.  But you just can resist buying all of those new, shiny things.

Maybe it’s too late for you to put these suggestions into place this year.  But I challenge you to try them for next year.

In addition, these suggestions can be used for birthdays, anniversaries and other special occasions.

First, set a budget.  Set a budget to spend for special days.  Setting a budget will help you not to spend more than what you intend to spend.  It helps you to discipline yourself and set boundaries.

Second, have a special account.  Put aside a savings fund for holidays, birthdays and other special days.  Doing this allows you to be able to spend without feeling the guilt of running up your credit card bills.  Might I add that this is also a great way to take a destination vacation!

Third, plan ahead.  Holidays, birthdays and anniversaries are on the same month and day every year.  Plan ahead for these occasions.  When my nieces and nephews were little, I would start in October shopping for their Christmas gifts.  By the time December came I had so much stuff for them I would have several big boxes shipped to them.  I go big or go home (LOL)

Fourth, inquire about Lay-a-way.  I know that many people have this idea that lay-a-way is old fashioned.  Lay-a-way is not old fashioned.  People just don’t want delayed gratification.  We want it now!  But this is a good way to make purchases without going into debit and paying interest.  Not a lot of stores have this option and if they do it’s usually not something they’re advertising because retailers too, want it (money) now!

Fifth, give something away.  If you have something that you haven’t used or worn and it’s still sitting on the shelf, give it away as a gift.  I’ve done this a few times.  When I was laid off and I couldn’t afford to buy gifts, I gave away things that I had never used.  It can even be gently used.  When I say gently, I mean it looks very close to new.  Don’t give someone something that is old and beat up.

I hope I’ve given you some ideas on how to preserve your budget.  These things are not difficult to incorporate.  They are very practical to do.  And, remember these suggestions can be used for all occasions.

Don’t Bust Your Budget and Be Blessed