Christmas 2019 will soon be upon us.
“Surely not”, I hear you ask or, more likely, “There’s tons of time before Christmas why is he mentioning that at the beginning of June when we haven’t even had our summer holidays yet?”
The reason is very simple. Every year I spend lots of time in January, February and March helping readers who spent too much money over Christmas and are trying desperately to repay debt that they built up last year while paying all the bills that need to be paid this year. Oh and perhaps have a bit left over to starting thinking about a holiday later this year as well.
The reason so many people end up in so much of a mess is because they leave Christmas planning until the last minute and try to pay for it all from December’s paycheck. Then when they realise they don’t have enough to buy all the things they need to buy the balance goes on a credit card, or worse still a store card, and the problems arise when the bills start to pop through the letterbox a month or so later.
So I thought that if reminded you now that Christmas is only seven months away it might mean that you start to do some planning early.
Go out at the weekend and buy a couple of presents. See if any shops are selling cards and calendars half price. If you don’t have the inclination to go shopping for presents this weekend then at least sit down and make a list of the people you are likely to buy presents for and how much you think you’ll have to spend on each one.
Work out a total budget and start to put some money aside each month out of your wages. A Christmas Fund if you like. That way you won’t have to pay for it all in one month, and you won’t have to go out and buy it all at the last minute.
If you do that you might find that you’ll enjoy your break this year rather than wondering how you’re going to pay for it all in January next year!
A version of this first appeared in The Daily Record.