Christmas Countdown Day 9: Set a Holiday Budget!

Christmas Budget

Do you know the cost of Christmas?

It's safe to say that most of us do not--and so we find ourselves blind-sided by the Financial Ghost of Christmas Past well into the new year.

When cash runs dry, we turn to plastic. Result? Credit card statements crowd the mailbox and burden the budget long after the tree and tinsel have been sent packing.

A head-in-the-snowdrift approach to holiday spending may feel good at the outset, but it's a sure recipe for financial disaster.

Time for a reality check ... because holiday debt is nobody's idea of a Christmas gift!

To Do Today

Set a holiday budget

The first step on the road to an all-cash Christmas? Keep tabs on the cost of Christmas with a holiday budget. Today's reading assignment shows you how to create and use a budget to control holiday spending.

Whether you use our printable Christmas budget form, open a computer spreadsheet, or track your budget using financial software, establish your family's Christmas budget today.

Then stand back and admire your power tool, because a budget is more than just a piece of paper! It’s a dynamic way to allocate funds and track spending.

Used properly, a budget provides an at-a-glance picture of where your spending falls against your goals--and knowing where the fiscal limits lie will help you avoid the financial fuzziness that permits Christmas to burden the remainder of the year.

A holiday budget lets you give yourself the best gift of all: a debt-free Christmas.

To Read Today

How to make and keep a holiday budget? Try these three steps to take charge of Christmas spending:

Santa Savings: Make a Holiday Budget

Today's Recipe

peanut blossomsPeanut butter cookies topped with a chocolate candy kiss, Peanut Blossoms are a Christmas classic ... and a particular favorite around the Ewer household. Teen boys (and small grandsons!) are happy to unwrap all those chocolate kisses!

Peanut Blossoms Recipe

To Print Today

Printable Holiday Budget

Holiday Budget

Holiday Plans: