I hope that you and your family had a Merry Christmas! Did Santa make a stop at your house this year? Now that the presents have been opened and the boxes and wrapping paper are all thrown away, there are some things that you should start doing and lessons to keep in mind for next Christmas. Yes, that’s right, even though it’s 361 days until next Christmas, it’s time to start now.
Here are six things you can do now, before you even get the tree decorations put away, that will help you have a great Christmas next year!
- Paying the Bills – Make sure you get any bills for this Christmas paid as quickly as possible. Preferrably, you don’t carry balances on any credit cards which were associated with holiday shopping, but if you did, work as hard as you can to get those paid off ASAP!
- Save For Next Christmas – The best way to avoid those bills next year is to start saving now. We allocate money every month toward a Christmas Gifts fund, and with that, we have never had a Christmas gift that we had to wonder how or when we were going to pay for. Even if you can’t start paying now because you still have bills, make a plan to start saving as soon as you can to lessen or eliminate the burden next year.
- Track Your Spending – Look back and track your spending. Look at who you spent money on and what money you spent. This will let you create a budget moving forward.
- Examine Prices – You might not have access to every item that you bought, put try to put together a list of the more expensive items, and take a look to see if you might have gotten it cheaper by purchasing it at a different time, at a different store, or a different time of year. This might help you make better decisions next year and save some money.
- List Wins and Losses – Now that everything is put together, put together a list of your biggest wins and your biggest losses. Score a great deal on Black Friday? Chalk that as a win. Forget somebody? That’s a loss. Make a few wins and a few losses.
- Put Your Info Together In One Place – If you put all of this information together, bundle it up and make sure it’s around when you start shopping for next year. Having a list of people might give you a good starting point so you don’t forget. Having a spending history will let you craft a starting budget next year. You get the idea. If you can put this electronically, try storing it in your e-mail and have a reminder pop up next year to take a look at it.
Putting together information about Christmas while it’s fresh in your mind is a big opportunity to make next Christmas even better on your wallet. If you work hard now, then you’ll be giving yourself a very nice gift next Christmas! Ho-Ho-Ho!!!
Readers, when Christmas is over do you forget about it until next November, or will you be doing anything to make yourself have a more successful Christmas season next year? Share your ideas in the comments below!