Welcome to day 2 in the 5 Days to a Debt Free Christmas series! Today we are going to talk about the importance of creating a Christmas budget.
The Importance of Creating A Christmas Budget
I cannot count the number of times I have heard people say that they set a limit on the amount of money they want to spend on Christmas gifts – but always overspend. And it seems more and more that these same people who complain of this cycle continue on in the pattern of debt, just accepting the lie that they have to finance their Christmas. The look of stress upon their face tells the story: I am in debt and it is stressing me out.
It’s a fact, debt is stressful. But here’s another fact: You don’t have to go into debt to have a wonderful Christmas.
I know that the word budget brings up different ideas for different people. But one thing is for sure – without a budget you won’t ever get your spending under control and reach your financial goals (which are hopefully to become debt-free). There is just no possible way that we can know how much money we are spending if we are not keeping a written (or digital) record of our finances. Flying by the seat of your pants or logging in to your online bank account are not forms of budgeting.
What Is A Budget?
Simply put, a budget is something that you create based upon the resources you have coming in and the expected outflow. With financial planning we create a monthly spending budget based upon the amount of money we have coming in each month (from wages and other income sources) and the expenses we incur each month (ie: rent, food, etc). Another example of budgeting can shown through our daily plan of how we use our time. We know we are given 24 hours in a day and we can plan our life based upon that understanding. How much time we budget each day is already decided by the fact that there are just 24 hours in a day.
Need help with budgeting? My dear friend Jessi created the phenomenal Real Life Money Plan eCourse that can help!
From the perspective of finances we budget so that we can help secure a future that isn’t full of debt. It feels so good to know that when we leave this earth we won’t be leaving our children with a bunch of debt hanging over their heads – but rather we’ll be leaving them assets to help secure their financial peace and future!
From the perspective of time we budget so that we can make the most of what God has given us. For me it’s very important that I give God the first fruits of my time (typically early in the morning) and then my husband and children follow at a very close second. It’s important to me that I manage my time wisely so that I can be as present as possible in my marriage and in raising our three precious children.
Budgeting Time & Money
This Christmas I challenge you to make sure that you create a budget for both your time and your money and stick to it! Creating the budget is only half of the battle, and frankly it’s the easy part. However, sticking to your budget is the hard part. But you can do it! I am sure there are many of you reading this right now that already have a budget in place, good for you! But for those of you who do not, I encourage you to sit down and flesh out a realistic budget to help you achieve your financial and time management goals.
I am confident that if you determine to say NO to debt (in regard to both time and money) you will have a much more enjoyable Christmas season. It’s okay if you have to turn down an invite to a cookie exchange in order to get more rest. It’s okay not to buy a gift for cousin so-and-so who is flying in as a last minute guest for Christmas. Give yourself the permission to have peace this holiday season by sticking to your time and money budget, you won’t regret it!