Get Real and Get Ready!

Get Real and Get Ready! Merry Christmas!  Happy New Year!!!  The holidays are upon us.  Are you ready?  Typically we gauge our preparedness for the holidays by our timeliness of the following things: getting the tree trimmed, buying gifts, sending out Christmas cards, etc.  I’d like to adjust the way you view your holiday planning.  Until you’ve written down a detailed list of what these holidays will cost you aren’t completely prepared.  As of this writing I see some areas that I myself have missed and need to prepare more accurately for.  Yes it may sound like overkill, but come January 1, 2012 you don’t want to be experiencing a 2011 Holiday Hangover because you didn’t accurately assess what your wonderful holidays would cost.  That is a good way to overspend and the holidays sure aren’t as festive when there’s debt at the end of it.  Create a detailed list of the following items with dollar amounts and come to grips with your holiday spending.

Your holiday worksheet should have the following categories:

  1. Gifts and gift wrap (family members, co-worker, friends, neighbors, secret santas, teachers, coaches, hostesses, pastors, care-givers, mail carriers, hairstylists, babysitters, maid service, etc).
  2. Decorations (tree/wreath, lights, etc)
  3. Food and beverages
  4. Greeting cards, film processing, family portraits
  5. Postage, shipping and boxes
  6. Holiday events and parties
  7. Holiday attire

If you’ve already begun your holiday spending simply back track and see how much you’ve spent so far and what needs to happen in the next 27 days.  There is still time to get on track and stay on track.  You need to know what you typically spend each year.  A great goal for starting off the 2012 New Year is to save all your funds for the holidays before they even begin.  Just divide your total holiday expenses by 12 and save that amount each month.  Why wait until 2012 to begin setting goals?  Start now and Get Real!

Keep the holidays in perspective while you shop and complete your list.  The true reason for the season is the birth of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.  He is the greatest gift you can ever give to those you love and care about.