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Did Christmas Break the Piggy Bank?

Did Christmas Break the Piggy Bank?

By Drenda Keesee

 

Christmas is here!

Okay, not for another year, BUT…

Now is the time to start budgeting and saving.

I know! I know!

You have been avoiding looking at your bank statement.

You are ready for a long winter’s nap.

You just want to ignore the fact that your pants seem to have shrunk, by a lot!

But it’s those times when you just want to hide from it all that you’ve got to toss those leftover cookies, hop on that treadmill, and build a budget for the next Christmas, so you can enjoy the holiday and skip the financial hangover!

I’ve put together a few easy steps to help you build a foundation for a stress-free holiday and financially stable aftermath.

 

Set a Spending Limit

One of the easiest ways to set your limit is to take a look at ALL of your Christmas purchases, track your spending, then set your amount for next year accordingly.

Once you have your budget amount, divide it by 12 and start putting away that amount every month. You can even create a separate checking account for that money.

Tip?

Try and set it a little lower than what you spent last year.

For example:

  • Dial it back with gifts for the kids.
  • Download apps for the stores you use to be aware of discounts and coupons.
  • Endure the Black Friday, 5:00 a.m. alarm, brave the crowds, and get those discounts!

Christmas is a season of giving, BUT don’t go into the red trying to “prove” to people how much you love them.

Takeaway? Dollar signs don’t equal love and appreciation.

 

Shop Alone

Did you know women who shop with their girlfriends are 62% more likely to spend more money??

You know where this is headed.

Don’t get me wrong, I love to shop with my daughters. We have such a good time together, BUT I also know we women can be a little too good at encouraging where shopping is concerned; a supportive relative or friend might be your bank account’s worst enemy.

Oh, you look great in that! You have to get it!

You deserve this!

That fits you SOOO well; you should get another one in a different color!

Mayday! Mayday! Financial iceberg ahead!

I know shopping with friends or family is more fun, but those group shopping trips usually include going to lunch or a cup of coffee, and all that adds up.

Takeaway? Do yourself a favor. Skip the group trip, spare the bank account, and fly solo.

 

Pay Cash

I shared in another blog, “Raising Money Savvy Kids” about how children’s toy cash registers now come with a little plastic credit card.

Most people don’t think anything of it. Why?

Because debt has become the norm.

Gary and I have seen and experienced enough financial turmoil to know that CREDIT IS NO TOY.

Research shows that people typically spend more when they use a credit card than they do when they pay in cash.

It might feel like fake money, but I know all too well that each debt you carry steals from your happiness and well-being.

Pay attention here because I am about to drop some heavy truth on you…

Your financial habits are habits that bleed into other areas of your life, i.e., trouble controlling spending = trouble controlling other areas.

Takeaway? Using cash when you go shopping, especially for Christmas, is a great way to control your spending.

I want to encourage you to make a commitment to control your spending and be disciplined with your finances. I believe if you use these simple tips you are in for a stress-free holiday, AND I believe you will see amazing results in ALL the other areas of your life too!

Here are some great Bible verses about self-control. When you feel yourself getting a little too lax about spending or any other area of your life, read these!

Here is one of my favorites:

A man without self-control is like a city broken into and left without walls” (Proverbs 25:28).

I just want you to know I am here cheering you on, praying for you, and believing in all the wonderful blessings God has for you!

I want to spare you that lost time that we spent toiling away, feeling stressed and hopeless.

To learn more about the financial principles that brought Gary and me out of debt, then check out Gary’s book Fixing the Money Thing.

Also, to learn more about mastering the art of positive thinking, then check out my book, Better Than You Feel. This awesome book is full of honest personal stories, heartfelt encouragement, and practical exercises for making your emotions work for you.

~Drenda

Listen in Now to Faith Life Church!

Drenda-Keesee-620x413

Drenda Keesee’s contagious zeal and humorous personal experiences help make her ministry of spiritual, emotional and relational wholeness one that will bless your life and spark a new fire in your spirit.

A wife of over 30 years and a mother of five children, Drenda has ministered at churches, seminars, and conferences, and through the mediums of television and radio, for more than 20 years.

Her books, The New Vintage Family, Better Than You Think, and She Gets It are available wherever books are sold. In these heartfelt books, Drenda shares her personal journey and the life lessons that have brought her to where she is today, as well as practical answers that all people need to live a joyful life.

Drenda and her husband Gary founded Faith Life Now, a ministry designed to spread the message of freedom in the areas of finances, faith, marriage, and family. Tune in for their weekly messages here. Faith Life Now hosts conferences worldwide, and sponsors both Fixing the Money Thing, which Drenda co-hosts with her husband Gary, and Drenda.

Through their own life experiences, the Keesees have found the principles from God’s Word to be powerful and effective. At one point, Drenda was a young, suicidal feminist with no hope of ever being “good enough” for her own standards of perfection. She never wanted the “inconvenience” of a husband or children, and she was on her own path to success. But the stress of trying to achieve perfection and perform for love left her broken and used. She had success, but it was nothing compared to the pain and loneliness it had also brought.

That’s when God got a hold of her heart. It was there—at her lowest point—that she found the One who accepted and loved her, faults and all. Since that transformation, Drenda has had a passion to reach women who find themselves where she once was.

She married Gary after attending college, and there she found herself in a personal boot camp of sorts. She says, “I cried and told God, ‘I can do anything but be a wife and mother.’” She committed to learning how to do it God’s way. Through the many years of raising their children and struggling to make ends meet, Drenda learned from their mistakes. “I didn’t know how to be a wife and mother, but God saved our marriage, taught us how to parent our children for success, showed us how to have financial success, and then irony of all ironies, He called us to ministry.” It’s truly because of these life experiences that Drenda can now share so many insightful principles for people who are now going through the same struggles.

Gary and Drenda pastor Faith Life Church at The Now Center in New Albany, Ohio and also are the CEOs of Forward Financial Group.

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