Christmas is just around the corner.
Are you ready for it? Can you pay for it?
For us, it’s “yes” and “yes” for the most part. Actually, we started planning for Christmas months ago, budget-wise. I’m sure some of our close friends wouldn’t be surprised. We’re planners. We tend to like some things “just so”. Christmas is one of those things. :)
When it comes to the holidays though, it’s hard to stick to a budget I admit. Lots of new Christmas decorations tempt us. Tons of flashing lights. Sale signs everywhere. Commercials, commercials, commercials. Invariably, when I buy for others I also tend to buy for myself at this time of year. Heck, I’m human. I know I’m not alone.
I recently read Canadians are set to lay down more cash on Christmas gifts this year than they did in 2010, according to a new survey. The RBC survey found that Canadian gift-givers are planning to spend an average of $640 on gifts, an increase from the $624 reported last year.
The article goes on to say Quebecers were the most frugal gift buyers, reporting a gift budget of about $461. Folks in Atlantic Canada were the spenders, with a gift budget of about $877. (I need to make more friends in the East!)
The majority of Canadians surveyed said they expected to cover the cost of gifts by using available cash in their savings accounts, while just over one-third said they plan to use their credit cards. That’s our plan, use credit cards all the way! But we’ve also saved the money in advance to pay off those credit cards. Since early fall, we’ve tucked away a couple hundred dollars per month. To date, we’ve saved almost $1000 to cover Christmas gifts and other holidays expenditures, including our New Year’s get together with close friends in Toronto. I guess that makes my wife and I in the minority, since the article stated only 10% of Canadians surveyed hadn’t yet thought about how to finance their holiday spending, according to RBC.
While surveys like this don’t reveal how long it might take for individuals to pay off their credit cards, a-holiday- spending-hangover, odds are most people will have a credit card balance in 2012. Our plan is to have no balance whatsoever. We avoid credit card debt as much as possible.
If you don’t have your holiday budget yet, here are some holiday shopping tips to pass along:
- Shop alone, don’t shop with friends or family. It might encourage more spending.
- Shop with a list, with a purpose. If not, you might spend more money.
- Redeem credit card points or rewards points when shopping. It will save you money.
- Ask for deals. You don’t know until you ask!
Lastly, remember there will be parties and celebrations that pop up. That’s the fun part. Don’t overspend and spoil your fun. It’s not too late to start planning your holiday budget nor figuring out how you’re going to pay for it.
Are you ready for Christmas?
Any Christmas shopping tips you can share?
For one lucky reader below, if Millionaire Teacher by Andrew Hallam was on your Christmas shopping list, well, you can strike it off as of today.
Congratulations to Karen who tweeted on Novermber 28th – you’ve won the FREE copy of Millionaire Teacher! Karen, I will email you shortly to get your mailing address.
Thanks to everyone who left a comment, tweeted and linked my articles to your sites! Stay tuned to my site. More book giveaways will occur in 2012.