Archives For Christmas

Christmas Gifts Storm Trooper

What does a  Stormtrooper give his little troopers? Credit Kalexanderson.

Christmas is a season of giving. It is about blessing others because we ourselves have been blessed. It is a time to remember the gift of Jesus. We want to express our love and appreciation. Plus there are other reasons to give that I wrote about if you need more motivation to give.

You may be convinced that you should give gifts for Christmas, but there are other thorny questions lingering about giving that we should address.

Should I give if I’m in debt?

Yes, I suggest to my clients that you should continue to be in the practice of giving. Be cautious about your heart that it doesn’t become greedy, even though you’re in debt. Decide to give a certain percentage of your income each month as a practice. If there is no way you can give money this year, then give your time volunteering at a local non-profit.

I don’t want to give ‘Stuff’. What should I do?

Give relationally! Give gifts that will have you spend time together. Puzzles, games, outings, events…etc. Relationships are more important than boxes. Have you heard of the Advent Conspiracy?

How much should I spend on Christmas gifts?

You’ll have to decide for yourself of course. I do suggest you make a budget and stick to it. There is no reason to go into debt to buy stuff for others, especially if it involved co-signing or loans.

Can I give too much at Christmas?

As long as you don’t go into debt, go crazy giving. Just be wise in how you go about it. You don’t want to make a relationship awkward by giving too much. If you’ve got the dough, go and bless others!

I’m not a Christian, can I still give gifts for Christmas?

While Christmas is largely a religious holiday, it is also part of Western culture. If you want to give, then give. There are no restrictions. I’m sure both you and your receiver will be blessed no matter your spiritual views.

Whom should I give to?

Again, a personal decision. If you feel obligated to give to someone out of guilt or shame, then perhaps either your motivation needs checking or that relationship mending. If you’re in business don’t forget your boss, co-workers, clients, and vendors.

Should I give my boss a Christmas gift?

Why are you giving to them? To show thanks? To get a promotion? Giving to your boss or co-workers can be tricky. Whew! I’m glad I’m self-employed. Here is a good guide for shopping for your boss and coworkers.

I got a gift last year that I didn’t use. Is re-gifting ok?

Yes, but don’t get caught or give something cheesy unless it’s funny and the recipient will get your humor. Remember Seinfeld’s “The Label Maker”?

Is it ok to give cash for a Christmas present?

Of couse! Especially in hard economic times or if you don’t know what to get someone, then cash or a gift card is acceptable.

I want to give to charity. How do I know if my charity is legitimate?

First off, I’d ask them. This is a common question and they should have a ready answer including reports, recommendations, and facts. You can also check out Charity Navigator or Guidestar to see if your nonprofit is listed.

Action: What are thoughts about giving? Please share in the comments below. Merry Christmas! 

Do you need a cure for your overspending hangover? Credit

Do you need a cure for your overspending hangover? Credit JGlasen

Your head is pounding and eyesight blurry as you stumble out of bed towards the bathroom in case your queasy stomach decides to explode.

No, this isn’t a normal hangover due to imbibing on your family’s secret eggnog.

This is a full blown Christmas spending hangover.

Christmas Spending Hangover: The Symptoms

If you are like many this holiday season, you’ve spent too much on Christmas gifts and parties with money you really didn’t have.

You might have even charged it on high interest credit cards or opened up a new store credit card to get 10% off your purchase.

About right now your stomach may have that unwanted queasy feeling thinking,

How will I pay off my Christmas overspending binge?

Don’t worry–you’re not alone in your holiday overspending and there is a cure.

Christmas Spending Hangover: The Asprin

If you want to clear your head from overspending this holiday there is an aspirin that can help.

Hard work.

Yes, I know that that isn’t the cure you wanted to hear and you’re about to click away from this article, but stick with me a minute.

It will be worth it. Your relationships will benefit. Your stress level will decrease. Peace will abound.

How can this happen? Hard work.

Hopefully you can make a few sacrifices with your budget to get back on financial track and minimize your holiday spending binge.

For others this Christmas overspending may be a symptom of a lifestyle of overspending, debt, and lack of financial planning.

If that is you–start by reading and applying my How to Budget Like a Pro series and plan to avoid overspending next year.

Christmas Spending Hangover: Avoiding Next Year

If you’ve experienced a holiday spending hangover, I hope you’re motivated to avoid the headache again and have a debt free Christmas next year.

Use these tips to avoid overspending next Christmas and have a Christmas with no regrets:

Budget for Christmas each month. If you want to have Christmas money to spend in December, start saving in January.

Say you’d like to have $1,200 to spend on Christmas–you’ll just need to set aside $100 each month from your monthly budget. It really is that easy.

Plan your spending by using something like this awesome downloadable Christmas Budget form.

Buy less stuff for your kids next year. Try this as a Christmas gift idea for your kids next year

Buy something:

1) they need

2) they want

3) to wear

4) to read

I hope you find the aspirin for your Christmas overspending hangover and realize that a debt free Christmas is worth the hard work.

If you need financial help or have a question about debt and budgeting–I’m glad to help Email brent at ontargetcoach dot com

"Oh, Christmas Tree"

It’s not too late to save for Christmas. Credit kennymatic.

For those of you who are planners, you already have your Christmas gifts that you bought on sale last year. Perhaps you have some extra gifts from your Etsy store that you plan on giving to your friends and family? If you are like me, then you haven’t even thought about buying anyone gifts yet.

Did you know that Christmas is in 76 Days! Check out this site for an updated Christmas countdown clock.

If you were smart, you’ve been socking away some extra cash for the gifts that you’ll be needing to buy soon. Don’t forget those parties too! Spouses remember to sit down and have a Christmas Budget Party Meeting to decide on gifts and how much you’ll blow–I mean spend.

December is a month that many blow their budget and are tempted to use credit cards. Budget and stick to it; you’ll survive the lure of buying eveyone you know gifts they won’t appreciate nor remember.

If you haven’t you still have time to save some loot or start crocheting that hat for your niece. Here are some ideas to save for those Holiday gifts.

1) Give up your coffee till Christmas $3 x 68 days= $204

2) Work 1 night a week for 4 hours till Christmas or pick up a Saturday shift.

3) Could you work overtime at your job?

4) Ah who needs to buy gifts anyway? Just buy a box of crayons and some construction paper and write everyone a heart felt card….they’ll probably remember that more anyway.

5) Try one of these zillions of ideas on how to make money.

Any other ideas of Christmas budget, Holiday jobs, or Christmas gifts?