Bing Crosby sang it best when the lyrics roaring out of my car radio were, "I Am Dreaming of a White Christmas." Even as a small child growing up in a multi-seasonal state, I looked forward to snow glistening the ground on Christmas morning. The excitement fills the air and somehow snow adds definition to the perfect Christmas Day, allowing the magical trip that Santa made the night before seem even more special. As Christmas comes and goes each year, by March most of us are ready for some fun and sun. Spring break is usually around the corner, which also brings tax season. At this point in time, we as a family are once again thinking about Christmas. Even though Christmas is around nine months away, we contemplate whether to go somewhere for Spring break or put our tax returns in our bank's Christmas fund.
I adore Christmas. I love buying gifts for my family and watching their reactions as they open them. I tend to visualize the future and imagine what I will feel like after I make life decisions, rather big ones or small. The Christmas fund at our bank allows me to save, but also earn a little money back by keeping our funds snug. Every other year, instead of taking a vacation, I put money in our Christmas fund. The Christmas fund is set up where once you put the money in, you are not allowed to take any funds out until October 31st, without being charged a penalty fee. This program helps people to be accountable for their money. It seems the years that I actually utilize the Christmas program, I feel less stressed about buying gifts for my husband and kids. Mickey and Minnie were missed those years, but it gives us all something to look forward to the next year.
The year that I don't use the Christmas fund, I tend to be more anxious about money and how much to spend. Thoughts enter my mind like, what other kinds of things will we give up to have enough money for Christmas presents? Will it be that movie we wanted to see as a family or the day trip we were going to take? Will we give up Friday night pizza nights as a family? When will I start to save? Will I rely on the extra money from the last three paychecks to purchase gifts? It all comes together eventually, but those moments where I am figuring it all out is most stressful.
I believe everyone has some kind of special Christmas club at their credit union. As a family with two kids in private schools and being a former Elementary teacher turned Stay at Home Mom, I tend to think ahead and plan. Utilizing the Christmas program helps me to get my shopping done earlier, because by November 1st, the money is waiting for me to use. I feel less guilt about how much I spend because whatever is deposited is what will be used. I am also granted a small dividend at the end for keeping my money in the bank for such a long time. Saving money and not over spending are my ultimate goals and the Christmas program allows me to accomplish them. On Christmas Eve, while visions of sugar plums are dancing in my kids heads, I am sleeping soundly and dreaming about the excitement of Christmas morning. I am resting assured because I didn't overspend. If you want help budgeting this season, check out this free financial software. I think it would be a valuable resource this next Holiday Season.
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Posted by Bella and Aidee Mom at 8:55 PM 0 comments