To avoid using credit cards and over spending during the holidays, I use the envelope system. I write each person or event on an envelope and every pay day I put in $5 or $10, just depends. I put the envelopes in order of importance and a certain amount. I take my change and put it in there and when it adds up to $1 or more I take the change and replace it with the dollar bill.
This is what I do... When I go to the bank, I'll ask them for 4 or 5 of their little money-envelops. I like them because they fit so neatly in my purse.... If I don't use the "Envelope System" I'd be sure to overspend! ... I put each person's name on the front of the envelops with the money I've alloted myself. But the best thing about it is, When I purchase something, I put the recipe right in the envelope too... This way, if someone needs to return something, I'll know exactly right where the receipt is!
Great idea Pam, I paid my bills that way for years but never thought of it for Christmas now that I am retired. Thanks for this idea and posting it too.
This is great. You say you put yourself to the back of the list, but you really put yourself first when you do this. Making it through the holiday season knowing you got gifts for all of your loved ones without going into debt is the best Christmas present you could give yourself.
I find the envelope method good for regular savings too. When I worked, I used to lahel different envelopes "vacation", "taxes", "emergency", "Christmas", etc. And each week after putting the amounts for bills in both our joint checking accounts (my husband was alive then and we had two accounts to make it easier to pay bills), we would add something to each envelope so that when the time came to use the money, it was there. I used to do that for years and a friend of mine was so impressed she started it. The only drawback is that you have to be real disciplined not to take any money from any envelope for something else. It is a great way to discipline yourself into savings.
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