Did you have a happy season? (strange how it is based on a specific tradition, but we are still so politically correct about naming it)
How did the spending go?
With any luck you were generous and happy and have no debt to show for it!
I want to share an easy way to prepare for Christmas all year long so you can experience December without incurring any debt.
How do you pay your monthly bills? I mean the regular ones like heat, electricity, telephone, water…. Mine are all assessed as monthly averages based on consumption history. I have them organized through my on-line banking to get paid ever two weeks when the pay cheque gets deposited.
To use real numbers, say my electrical bill averages out to $100/month to cover the $1200/year it costs to service my home. To keep it simple I pay $50 every two weeks. The good news is that my year’s bill is paid at the end of November and I don’t need to pay any more throughout December.
Now I realize that $100 is not going to cover a blow-out Christmas.
Let me show you a few other tricks.
How about instead of $50 every two weeks you paid $60. This means before the end of October you have completed your annual commitment to the electrical company and now you have $200 towards your Christmas spending. Do the same with each of your regular bills and you’ll be impressed with how much money you have freed up by November. You suspend your automatic payments and the money is yours!
I have another little secret too.
I belong to a shopping “club”. Every few months I send them $1000 and purchase gas cards and grocery cards. I get cash back with each of these purchases which the “club” will either put back into my account or apply to the business building side of the “club”. The cash back amount varies with the vendors I decide to use – it can be anywhere from 1% to 2% and occasionally even more.
This past year, when I sent them $1000 I ordered $900 worth of product cards. This left $100 sitting on account. By November I had $400 sitting in that account and I ordered $400 worth of cards for my grocery store, which coincidentally also carries a variety of clothing and household items and children’s toys.
Are you keeping track of these numbers in your head? $400 +$200+~$50+~$80+~$90… we are in the range of $820 uncommitted money available to you as December rolls onto the calendar.
What would $820 (give or take) do to your holiday expenses? Put a serious dent in them I’m thinking!
Your numbers are going to be different than mine but you get the picture. Sit down with a calculator and your on-line banking and see what you can do.
I’ll also attach a link to my shopping “club” – let me know if you have any questions! http://agnesknowles.ca/lyoness
P.S. Don’t forget to restart your on-line bill payments again in January!!!