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Challenge: Cash-Only Christmas

holiday budget challenge logoIt’s been quite some time since I last wrote for the blog, but with the holidays approaching and our recently released challenge to consumers to commit to a cash-only challenge, I decided to do something I’ve never done before – create a budget for my shopping and holiday festivities.  You know what I realized? I should have started planning (and saving!) for this months ago, but I am committed to sharing my holiday spending journey and  challenging myself to give my credit cards relief this season.

My first step: Create a Budget 

First, I re-read Janice’s holiday spending challenge post from 2012 to get in the right mindset for creating my budget. I then downloaded our Holiday Budget Worksheet and divided my spending into three categories: Food, Gifts, and Miscellaneous. As you can see I made my own adjustments to this worksheet and even left myself with “wiggle room” under Miscellaneous for the chance that I go over in any category.  I am one who succeeds off of small victories and I believe that I over-budgeted for some gifts and scenarios. I am hoping that when this challenge is over I will come in under budget and it will encourage me to pay down my credit card debt in 2014.

Here’s how my budget breaks down:

Holiday-Budgeting-Worksheet

 

Food for my Annual Holiday Party:

Drinks: $50.00
Food:  $100.00

Gifts:

Kids (not mine!): $200.00
Parents: $100.00
Friends: $230.00
Other: $120
Charitable Donations $45.00

Miscellaneous:

Gift wrap/bags/supplies: $30.00
Decorations/ornaments: $30.00
Cards: $30.00
“Wiggle Room”: $15.00

Total Budget for Holidays 2013: $950.00
Percentage budgeted on Food: 15.7%
Percentage budgeted on Gifts:  73.2%
Percentage budgeted on Miscellaneous:  11.0%

That number was higher than I expected it to be, but once I got over my initial shock and thought about my spending from last year, it is likely in line or less than what I spent. My goals for this challenge are…

  1. Create a budget
  2. Spend cash only (I count debit card as cash and I will explain that in next week’s post on about my spending game plan)
  3. Come in under budget (I am shooting for only spending $800.00 or shaving 16% off my budget)

I hope you will follow me in my cash-only budget following journey this holiday season!

Have you created your holiday budget yet?

Would you like to join ACCC on our cash-only challenge and guest post about your journey? Contact us!

 

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