Hey, this is Allison and welcome to the Inspired Budget Podcast where we talk all things budgeting, debt, and saving money. Today I'm going to be showcasing exactly how our family. For Christmas, and if you haven't started saving for Christmas yet, it's okay. I'm gonna break down how you can do that, and then how to set yourself up in the future so that Christmas is not a stressful time of year for you.
If you've ever skipped writing a budget for Christmas, then you know how stressful, overwhelming, and frustrating it can be to get to December and you're realiz. Oh my goodness. I don't have enough money to cover all of these gifts, all of these parties, just all of the decorations, everything. In fact, most Americans spend over a thousand dollars every year on gifts, decorations, and holiday travel.
I know I do, and I also know that it can be really hard for families that don't have that extra thousand dollars cash flow every single month, which means that they are likely going into debt, putting it on credit cards, or even just cutting back, and that can lead to a lot of stress, overwhelm, and frustration, not just for the month of December, but for many months to follow.
I'll never forget whenever my husband and I were first working on our money and we had to face Christmas together. We had to buy gifts. We had a newborn child, or maybe I was pregnant. I don't really remember, but I do remember the feeling I had when I realized that. We were going to be spending about $600 on Christmas between all of our gifts, all of our decorations.
We didn't have a ton of people to buy for. We were going to be spending about $600 and we didn't have $600. And I remember it being right after Thanksgiving and thinking, Oh, How did I not see this coming? Why did I not set myself up for this? And I remember feeling very stressed, very overwhelmed that particular Christmas, and telling myself, I'm never going to let this happen again.
I am never going to forget that this happens because the feeling I had. Took away what I wanted to feel during that holiday season. What I wanted to feel was peace of mind and happiness and joy. It was harder for me to have those feelings when I had this debt, this, not even this debt, but just this expense that I hadn't planned for hanging over my head.
So what we did was starting that next January, we made it through that c. Cash flowed. Our Christmas gave the worst gifts ever, the cheapest gifts ever. I think we even probably skipped giving gifts to each other. But after that, we set up sinking funds and we said, Okay, Christmas costs us about $600. What if we set aside $50 a month into a cash envelope?
And we used to do it in as a cash envelope. We pulled $50 out in cash, and we set it aside in an envelope that way by December. We have $600 and we no longer will have this feeling of overwhelm. And sure if we end up spending $800 on Christmas or $700 on Christmas, at least we have a majority of it ready to go and saved.
And that's what we started doing. Let me tell you that next Christmas. Was completely different, and that's what I want for you. I want you to walk into the holiday season no matter what holiday you celebrate, and I want you to be able to fully enjoy it and not have the worry and stress about your money hanging over and looming so, How do you actually figure out how much money to save?
Right. That's the next question, because what I spend and save for Christmas might be completely different than what you are going to need to spend and say for Christmas, for instance, I have two children. I don't have a lot of nieces and nephews. I only have one nephew, zero nieces. We don't have a large family, so my amount that I need.