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Create A Greener Christmas Budget
November 25, 2012
Hello & Welcome Everyone

Create A Greener Christmas Budget

Are you caught up right now in the excitement of the holiday season? Many are, and why not?

The Christmas season has that effect. Some aren’t that “excited” though as it brings about a variety of stressors that are difficult to cope with. The reasons could be personal in nature or most likely, financial.

Many people get so caught up in the Christmas season. Not only do we want to buy the people in our lives the nicest things, we can get overly giddy about the newest decorations out there for our yards and for indoors. I’ve certainly been guilty of this.

How many at this time of year typically feel that Decembers’ pay-cheques are now out the window and/or need to pull double duty?

The result? Expenses from last year are still being paid off as Christmas rolls around again and again. We tend to spend more than we can afford sometimes. Don’t feel badly…it happens to all of us.

If you’ve fallen victim already in this regard for this Christmas, now is the time to at least put NEXT year into perspective.

If you can create a Christmas budget starting as soon as possible (now to some degree if you haven’t started spending yet, or at the end of this December for 2013?) you will truly enjoy the season much more next time around.

Does your bank offer a Savings Program for Christmas Saving?

Some larger institutions offer this. Local Community Credit Unions typically do. If you can take just a little bit out of your pay-cheque bi-weekly or monthly and deposit it faithfully, it will add up. You know it will.

Next season, there will be a little cushion to fall back on. The sooner you start, (January 2013?) the more you will have for the necessities you’ll want later. The more that’s in there will enable you to avoid a financial hardship, stay within budget and pay cash for your purchases. If there is anything leftover? Put it back in for the next season again.

Christmas 2013 may seem so far away right now, but it has a way of creeping back up again and here before we know it, doesn’t it?

Budget Limits – Can the credit card

You will be using the credit card if you don’t set some type of budget limit geared to your “means.”

Set your limit based only on cash-payments. This may demand that you take a cold hard look at what you really need to buy.

Keep in mind, the budget includes food, gifts for parties, cards, and decorations. For example, if you just bought all new Christmas yard décor and it works fine, you shouldn’t need more now or next year. Hopefully, you won’t need more the year after that.

Part of being a little “greener” in ANY department, is realizing “need vs. want.” They are two different animals.

What Actually Needs to be Spent Over The Holiday Season?

Include in your budget everything you can think of from a full grocery list for dinner, christmas baking and the beverages, to gifts and everything in between so there are no surprises.

The gift list will be toughest.

Do you buy for every relative, co-worker or neighbor you have? Maybe it’s time to trim that list. How much do you like to spend on people? Maybe you can consider trimming each one by $10.00 just for starters.

Do you want your Parents or Grandparents to own the best newest DVD player there is, even though you KNOW they won’t try to learn how to use it?

Like so many other “new-fangled” gadgets you’ve bought them, will it just collect dust again in their basement? Maybe it’s time to stop doing this. (I know…this is what happens to me)

Likewise for kids. Attention levels are short. The newest of electronics become dinosaurs quickly. Enough said.

Consider combining presents into one “gift for the family” when buying for yourselves or others. You won’t need to cut names, or buy multiple items either.

Consider whether or not you are a crafter, a baker, a scrap-booker, a photographer etc.

All of these things can come into play in how and what you might buy or make for someone. Gramma and Grandpa might be so much happier with some jars of homemade jam and a plate of cookies for their sweet-tooth, rather than a DVD player they can’t work. I know it’s so cliché, but it’s so true.

And if you are neither of these things? Think hard about what interests the person; it doesn’t matter if the cost falls below what you think you “should” spend.

The best way to stay within a budget and know where you are at for spending, is to keep track of all expenses.

Whether you buy a gift for someone or food items, keep track. Stroke it off the list and be done with it. Don’t second–guess or add more. Stick to your list and to the budget, as it’s the only way to know what’s left.

You should always be aware of how much money is left. You may find you’ve spent less than you thought, which can free up a few more dollars if needed in another area.

The whole idea is to be as creative as possible, as frugal as possible and most important, remain focused and disciplined in what you hope to achieve.

Stay within your means, and you will find the whole holiday season overall this year or next, much less stressful and more enjoyable, I promise.

Christmas Carbon Footprint provides lots of tips for reducing in many areas over the holiday season. Check out this page if you are looking for some ideas.

Do you have any specific tips on carbon footprint reduction and what you do around your home you might want to pass on?

Please feel free to share along with the others who already have at our going green page. It doesn't have to be a specific tip. It's for opinions too on the whole concept. We'd love to hear from you.

Until next time,


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