Financial Challenge #6: The Christmas Budget Challenge

Financial Challenge Series:

We are so excited to present to you our 2018 Financial Challenge Series! Each month, one of our employees will complete a financial challenge and then blog about it right here on our Blue Chip FCU News Blog! Be sure to let us know your favorite challenges, suggest future challenges and share your own challenge results! This month’s challenge:

Financial Challenge #6: The Christmas Budget Challenge

What is it:

You plan out your Christmas/Holiday Budget and STAY within the specified limits.

How long did we do it:

We did the challenge over the Thanksgiving/Black Friday Weekend.

Here’s how it went…

We have reached that most magical time of year… the Holiday Season! Have you ever just thrown caution to the wind and said, “I’m not even stressing about money. I’m buying what I want, when I want it, and I’ll deal with it later?” Sadly… later tends to come quickly and we are now in debt because we failed to plan ahead. This challenge was all about planning ahead to have a Merry and financially successful holiday season.

The first thing we did was take a look at our budget and savings. How much money do we have to spend on Christmas gifts and holiday extras like decorations and food? For future planning, it’s a great idea to open a Christmas Club account and put a little bit of money away in that account each month. It will add up and you can have a significant amount saved for Christmas!

Once you determine how much you have to spend, it’s time to make your list… and check it twice! Who do you need to buy for and how much do you plan to spend on each person? If you find that money is tight, there are plenty of options for low-cost, but meaningful gifts! Check out our latest blog on 4 inexpensive gifts you can give your loved ones this holiday season. We found some great deals this year, which meant we didn’t have to spend the entire allotted amount per person. Look for great, “buy one, get one” deals!

At the end of the challenge, here is what we discovered:

Pro’s List

  • Budgeting Success: Just by having a plan, we were able to successfully finish our Christmas shopping WITHOUT going over our set budget.
  • Cash is King: Only shop with cash. This will take away the temptation of going over budget. You only have enough cash to buy the gifts you planned for.
  • Shop Alone OR Create an accountability team: Shopping alone is a great way to avoid the bad influences of others, even though their intentions are good. OR… you can prep your shopping partners ahead of time and make them part of your accountability team. Tell them you only have this much to spend, and have them help you make the best choices with the funds available! They may have some great, creative ideas to help you stretch those dollars.
  • No buyer’s remorse: By planning ahead, you avoid those bad feelings that come with overspending.


Con’s List

  • Time: You definitely have to put the time into planning out your budget and creating a game plan to get the best deals. But, it WILL be worth it in the end when you don’t have a HUGE credit card bill to deal with in January. Trust us… we know!


Is this Right for you?

Absolutely! Having a plan for your money is the right choice for everyone. Budgeting may feel restrictive, but it is actually quite freeing to not have to worry about your finances. And, you may find that you have money left over for more of the fun things in life! Enjoy this Holiday Season and know your credit union is right here to help you achieve your financial goals and dreams. Merry Christmas Friends!