Tag Archives: Personal Budget

Pay Cash For Christmas 2015 – How to Start Saving Now

santaloan(You can read part one of this series here)

With Christmas 2014 behind us, it is time for me and my family (and hopefully you too if you decide to commit!) to start saving for Christmas 2015.

Are you ready to make a “Pay Cash for Christmas 2015” commitment?

How to make your Pay Cash For Christmas 2015 Commitment

Please, don’t panic, but this is going to require a bit of math, so if numbers are not your favourite, take a deep breath, stick with me, and follow these steps:

  1. Gather together your credit card and bank statements starting with the month where you made your first Christmas purchase (I made mine in October so I gathered my statements for October, November, and December)

  2. Get a piece of paper and pen, or open a spreadsheet or word document on your computer (I used an excel spreadsheet)

  3. Go through each bank and credit card statement and record all the money you spent related directly to the holidays (food, gas, coffees, presents, etc.)

  4. Add up all of those numbers, take a deep breath, and write down your total. This is how much you spent on Christmas in 2014 (my total was $3376.49)

  5. Divide this total by 12 (for me: $3376.49/12 = $282)

  6. This is the amount of money you need to save, every month starting in January, so you can pay cash for Christmas 2015 (my first $282 transfer has already been made!)

  7. Go to the comments below and make your commitment to save every month so that you can pay cash for Christmas 2015. I would love it if you included your monthly number, but if you are not comfortable sharing that information, just let everyone know that you are making this commitment.

I am ready to make my Pay Cash for Christmas 2015 Commitment, are you ready to make yours?

Pay Cash For Christmas 2015 – Looking Back at 2014

santaloan This picture really upsets me.

It upset me before Christmas when I first saw it, and it has continued to haunt me through the holidays and into the new year.

Apparently, Santa (thats definitely his coat and glove) thinks its a good idea to give out loans so people can overspend themselves into disaster, and enter the new year further in debt than they already are.


Perhaps not the most elegant word, but one that perfectly explains how I feel looking at this picture and thinking about what it means for so many people.

Do you know how much YOU spent on the holidays this year?

I am not talking about a gut feeling, or ballpark figure, are you clear on what the holidays cost this year, and how much debt you will be repaying as 2015 begins?

My family’s Christmas 2014

I got clear on my Christmas 2014 number: $4276.49

My family has a $450 weekly budget, so even if I subtract $900 (for the two weeks of holidays) from this number, we still spent $3376.49 beyond our regular budget on Christmas this year .

That is a lot of money. But, you know what, I don’t regret a cent of it (OK, maybe I regret the $59.90 I spent on the two Laser Tag guns that didn’t work, and some of the less healthy food we ate) and when I reviewed what we spent the money on, every penny helped us enjoy our holiday in a uniquely Miller fashion.

So, if we don’t want to cut back on our holiday expenses, we need to SAVE for our holiday expenses, starting right now.

The Miller Family will be paying for Christmas 2015 with cash.

What if, at the end of 2015, you paid for your holiday season entirely with cash? Are you ready to make a “Pay Cash for Christmas 2015” commitment?

But first, a look at Christmas 2014 numbers

Perhaps you are wondering: “How does a 3-person/1 dog family have a $4,000+ Christmas?

Love it! Looking at the numbers is always important, and here is my families spending breakdown for Christmas 2014 with some short explanations:

Ski Equipment – $1538.88: My family lives on the side of a ski hill and it is our main winter activity. My wife’s skis were 8 years old so I bought her a new pair for Christmas. Almost three years ago I fully ruptured my Achilles, and my old boots don’t fit my “surgery foot” very well, so my wife bought me new ski boots.

Gifts – $912.75: Four parents, two siblings, three cousins, and Fionn, my son. Surprising how quickly gift buying adds up.

Food – $634.96: This is food eaten while shopping for gifts, road trip food while driving to see family, and food for Christmas dinner and other dinners over two weeks.

Gas – $307.18: This is gas used to go shopping for gifts, driving to see family, and general driving over the two week holiday.

New Years – $649.23: This was hotel, tickets to a family festival, gas, food, and some other miscellaneous purchases.

Miscellaneous – $233.49: This covers medications, toiletries, etc. that we would normally purchase as part of life, but we happened to purchase during the two week holiday season.

Total $4276.49

You might be surprised at how quickly your own Christmas expenses add up once you take everything into account. If you are ready to find out, and want to start saving for Christmas 2015, click here and read Part Two!