Reduce Debt Increase Wealth

Christmas Debt Into Savings

February 18, 2024 MIsterchuck Season 5 Episode 205
Reduce Debt Increase Wealth
Christmas Debt Into Savings
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Show Notes Transcript

Having problems with Christmas debt, purchased gifts on credit and now the bills are coming due. How to solve this for all future years and increase emergency fund at the same time. 

Article Links:
https://www.bankatfirst.com/personal/discover/flourish/26-week-savings-challenge.html
https://www.creditkarma.com/money/i/money-saving-challenges

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Charles McDonald:

Hello, I'm your host, Mr. Chuck, I retired accountant turned truck driver, I reduce my debt in a relatively short period of time, debt reduction, to achieve financial freedom takes commitment, confidence, determination, Christmas dead into savings, having problems with Christmas debt, purchase gifts on credit. And now the bills are coming due how to solve this for all future years and increase mergency fund. At the same time. I have two links in my show notes, two articles on how to save money, savings challenges and different types of challenges you can do in order to increase your savings. They all focus on putting money aside, somehow reduce your spending, and look for ways to reduce spending. If you find yourself in the problem where you have credit card debt, and every year you use your credit cards to buy Christmas gifts. And then you're focusing on trying to pay off that debt. But you never quite make it all the way to zero. So then the next year you buy more Christmas gifts, your debt increases, and you're just getting deeper into a hole. Or maybe it takes you nine months to pay off the debt. So you really don't get a head on any savings. So let's focus on my debt reduction plan. And let's use that to help us tackle our Christmas savings for next year. Last year is said and done. We're gonna we're gonna work on that debt. But we also want to increase our savings for next year. So we don't have to use credit cards to go Christmas shopping. So that's going to be for the goal number one, quit using credit. And that also applies to your Christmas spending. So how are you going to achieve that goal? When you have 10 people that you're buying for and you're spending$100 Each or more per person that's well over $1,000, maybe you're spending two or $3,000. And time you put in a dinner and Christmas dinner or New Year's dinner and all those things. You spent three or $4,000. These are just numbers on making up I don't really know the dollar amounts, but it's a significant amount amount of money for somebody who is struggling to pay off their debt. So how are we gonna tackle it, there's only one little modification you can do to help you have the cash available. Now we're looking and to almost February, the time you get your bills than January bills, it's probably close to February. Before you realize how bad the situation could be, there really is. So let's start now, one quit using credit cards. We're gonna start using the money we have available to pay for all of our expenses. If we don't have enough money to do that, then we have to cut back our spending. Find ways to do that. Why are you in debt? How did you get in debt? Let's solve that problem. Now let's work around it and out of it. As perhaps part of the problem is you spending too much for Christmas. So for next year, he needs to count the number of people that you're buying for and limit the dollar amount you're spending. I know my parents always was tight on money and my Christmas gifts, many years were things that I needed to have in my life. Whether it was socks, underwear, pants, shirt, whatever, that most of the time, many years was my Christmas gift. Something like that I use on a regular basis and something I need it. So my parents would use that budget amount of money that they were going to spend on clothes, and they use that to buy Christmas gifts with My Christmas gifts was that item that they were going to buy anyway, that's the start. Now, as you feel familiar with my debt reduction plan, we're going to quit using credit, we're making the minimum payment, and we're building up our emergency fund. So how are we going to use this plan, and then we keep building the emergency fund until we have $3,000 in there, and then we take the excess over$1,000. And we apply it to our debt, maybe it's 4000, whatever amount of money you decide, and how often you decided you want to apply it to your debt, over the long run, that doesn't really matter a whole lot, come up with a number and do everything consistently is the most important part of this plan. Being consistent in doing the same thing over and over, has gotten achieve you the results that you're working towards. So now we're going to add in one more element to that, for those of you who spend quite a bit of money on Christmas gifts for your children, maybe your nieces and nephews and your brothers and sisters, and you got a large family. Even if you limit it to 25 or $50 a person, you're still spending five $6,000 For Christmas, maybe less, maybe more, how are we going to come up with that money when we're struggling to pay off our debt. And the part of the reason we're struggling to pay off debt because we keep increasing the debt every Christmas, maybe we go all year, and we're really good, we don't use our credit cards. And we're making a little bit of progress on paying them down. But then Christmas comes and we just overcharge them, we go wild on our spending, and we don't think and January comes around, we got this big bill and our minimum payment went from$75 to $175, or whatever. And now you're cash strapped because the minimum payments are so much bigger. What are we gonna do? Well quit using credit, make the minimum payment. And if you have to make a bigger minimum payment, you have to do that because you got to make a timely payment on all your debt, have your emergency fund. Once you get your emergency fund, then the first month after you got your $1,000 Well, first time that you build it up to the 3000 or $4,000 amount, you want to leave $1,000 in there. Because that's your emergency fund in case something bad would happen. Instead of just leaving 1000 in there, leave love and $100 and pay down a little bit less debt$100 less, and then build it up again, the next time you go to take that chunk of money out of your savings to apply it to debt, leave $1,200 in there, you see where I'm going, every time you do that you leave an extra$100 in there. Now this depends on how much time from today to Christmas, when you got to start your spending, and how fast you can build up your savings account. Now if you plan everything, right, he can build that up a little by little. And you're gonna have a minimum of say 1500 in there, by the time your Christmas shopping starts. Also, you're gonna maybe have$2,000 in their total. So you got $500 Extra, the excess has not really extra, but over a year amount of that you're want to keep your balance at for your emergency fund. So you really have $1,000 that you could use for your Christmas spending. So what we're gonna do is, instead of applying that to your debt, right before Christmas spending shopping season starts, what you want to do is just make the minimum payments, tried to build your savings up a little bit faster, and then use that extra amount of money over the minimum of 1000 because we tried to build it up over time so we had some extra in there and then use that for your Christmas shopping and tried to stay within that dollar amount. Only spend the amount of money you actually have and do not charge anything on credit and then the following year it keep doing the same thing. Now we have some in my show notes, savings challenges. If you're struggling to even put money aside to go after you're making the minimum payment all your debt is stalled. struggling, and you don't, you're not in a habit of putting money into your savings account on a regular basis. Start small and gradually build it up every week. And the one savings challenge is you start saving three bucks a week. And then week two, it's $6. And then Week Three is $9. So every week, you're adding three more dollars to your savings, he started with 369 12, etc. And over a period of 52 weeks, you'll end up saving $1,053. That's a good way to start if you're struggling to get your emergency fund built out to 1000. That's a good way to do it. And you're thinking, well, how can I do it because I'm not really cutting back anywhere? Well, in order to do this, that will help us make those choices of cutting back in the article, there are some ideas on how you can save money, look over your grocery list, we all have to eat and we need to eat, too, you need a $5 box of fake fake bars. Look for ways to cut back. Also, if you're trying to lose weight, look for ways to lose weight. And not only are you going to eat healthier, it's gonna save you some money, cut out the snacks, the cookies, the chips, the the sodas and alcohol, beverages and those type of things. And you'll be able to say probably $100 a week, there's right there. switch brands, use store brands, a lot of stuff, store brands are very good. In this how I view it, he got the name brands making a product, let's say macaroni and cheese, it's expensive. It's twice as much as a store a box of macaroni and cheese, who you think that store is buying that they're just putting the same product in a different box. And I try buy one or a couple of things and I try it. If I don't like it, I won't buy it, take it off the list. Some store brands are very good. Some items store brands are very good. Some items store brands not so good. Try it. And then if you'd like it, switch over and you'll save some money there. How about those re ups, all those retail subscriptions that's gonna cost you $38 Every month, try getting rid of them, look, get rid of duplicate items, get rid of things you don't really need, get rid of things you don't use any longer. Now, I've said that before. Also pack your lunch instead of going out to eat lunch, make a little extra dinner and have leftovers and pack it for lunch and take it in and heat it up. And you'll save quite a bit of money there. And there's other quit your therapy spending. There's other ways to save money that's in that article. But the goal here is to get you in the habit of savings. He starts small, every week, you double you build it up by the same dollar amount $3 and then add $3 add $3 add $3 Every week, you're increasing your savings for $3. So the first week is 369. By the end of the first month, you're putting in 12 bucks. And in the second month, it just keeps going three bucks increments. And there's other types of savings challenging. Another way. And this is what I've done is pocket change when I was using cash a lot, you'd get changed to put it in my pocket. Come home, I used to just take it all out, throw it in a mason jar and when the jar was full of take it in, dump it in the machine, it would count it out, give me a slip but this would be at the grocery store, go up to the service center and they would pay me and I'd pay them their feet. And then I thought why am I doing this? Why am I putting quarters in every coke quarters are easy to count and easy to roll. So I start separating the quarter so only put pennies nickels and dimes in my jar. I roll my own quarters and then I take the quarters to the bank and I put it in my savings. And then every once in a while I'll take the jar in. Now some banks have these change machines where you can go to a bank and do it but my bank don't have it for whatever reason so they have one at the grocery store. So that's what I use. Go in there, dump it in get your twin Money or $30, get the cash. Luckily, my bank is right there and the grocery store deposit in my savings account. That's one way you can help you save some money. And it's a little effort and you just have money that you have that you're not taken advantage of. Let's say that way, you don't want to build up a penny saving jar and have 100,000, pennies and Eric because then it's heavy and hard to manage. Now the idea of the money challenges should have their start a habit a consistent savings, and learn about your financial goals and track your budget and improve your personal finances and help you make choices of what to do away with. If you do all these things, there's a 52 week Melling challenge, your goal is to deposit an increased amount of money every week until you've saved $1,378 At the end of week 52. The dollar amount you save every born corresponds was the week of your challenge. Week one is to dot $1 $2 $3 $4. And then the last week is $52. You'll save 13 Almost $1,400 Just do a map. And that's a weekly challenge. Keep all the chains challenge, put all your chains on what I would do is separate the quarters wrong. And do that change only for a month you find some tempted to buy things you don't necessarily need try join this les savings challenge. The idea is to only carry cash when shopping. So the only spend what you have and you do that for a month. I'm gonna say do that during the Christmas shopping, that'd be a good challenge and only spend what you have. And I hope you keep your credit card debt from growing larger. Because what we're really talking about here at Christmas times your your credit card debt is getting larger than you're spending the rest of the year trying to pay it down in never quite make it. And it's costly, especially with credit card interest at 20%. Plus, at his expense of $1 bill savings challenge if you're enjoying budget, envelope budgeting this might be a fun one for your try. The challenge is simple. Every time you get $1 Bill added to the envelope for extra savings at the end of the year, you can use the envelope savings for whatever you want. Okay, if you're into envelope budgeting, where you put money into envelopes, you have a extra envelope called savings. Every time you get a $1 bill back as change the A put it in that envelope, that becomes your Christmas savings. Holiday Gift challenge. Pay yourself when they make I don't understand what that one is when you make a financial mistake that you pay yourself. But how do you know you made the mistake, that's the problem. By weekly savings you save every time you get paid every time get paid five, start with five bucks, the next pay put $10 next pay put 15 Over time, you're gonna one get in the habit of savings. And number two end up having some extra money, but have not extra money available to pay for your Christmas shopping. So those are the two links in my show notes that you can refer to if you're interested in doing a savings challenge. Really everybody should be doing a savings challenge if you have a credit card problem or that problem, because we're trying to minimize our spending every possible place we can. So we can then save it in our savings account mergency fund and then apply it as a lump sum to one of our debts to help reduce it down over time. If you keep doing it at speeds up. Because the less that you have, the less minimum payments you're makin the more it's going in your savings, and the faster your savings is gonna grow. So let's keep all that in focus next year when you go Christmas shopping. I'll be back in one moment with my final thoughts. If you're interested in learning about an online software that helped myself get out of debt, it does tracking, budgeting, and keeps track of all your assets and all your debt. It even tells you how much and when to transfer money into your savings account and how much and when to transfer money to your debt and which debts to pay off in order. First. It's not cheap. It's a one time payment, but it will definitely be ie an investment, something and yourself and an investment in your personal financial life. If you're interested, send me an email at reduce debt increase wealth@gmail.com. And I'll send you the information about this online software that worked great for me. The idea here is to motivate you to say more, and to reduce your spending, just talking about is not really gonna help you much, but I'm trying to throw out ideas of things you can do that might work for you, to help you save more money. If you have to do a savings challenge between you and your husband, every time you get change back, count how much change he's each keep your own change pile or jar, and then once a month, take it in and see who collected the most. Or maybe you can make it $1 Bill, whenever you get $1 Bill set it aside, whoever collects the most dollar bills at the end of the month, you know, you're gonna have to figure out a price that's not gonna cost you anything, you put it in your savings, Your prize is an increased amount in your savings. And the reason you're doing this is to help reduce your debt. You're working on paying off your debt. And we're trying to build up our emergency fund and our savings. So we have money at the Christmas shopping time. So we don't have to use credit to do our Christmas shopping, whatever works for you, is the one issue go with whatever is easiest. And at the same time while you're doing your savings challenge, you need to look for other ways to reduce your spending, especially on things that you buy on a regular basis. groceries, gasoline, utilities, your service for yourself found here insurance, you always need me looking for a better deal, where you get a more service at a less price, we got to remain committed, you got to be smart. And you got to be determined to do all these things year round. But if you have hobbies, that is mostly in the summertime, and you want to buy something for that hobby, so that you can do something, I can't think of any ideas, you need to write that down and make it your Christmas gift for later on in the year. Write it down what it was, if it's smart enough, you can before Christmas, box it up wrapper up, put it under the tree and you have yourself a Christmas gift. And that is again on the operation of buy something new or will you buy anyway and then make it a Christmas gift. Whether it's clothes, food, hobby stuff, whatever the case would be, if you're gonna buy it anyway, try to turn it into a gift, whether it's a Christmas gift, a birthday gift or an anniversary gift. That's how you can then save a little bit of money and not be in so much debt. This is ongoing, you should always be looking for ways you can way to set aside money. And every time you get paid you should have a set amount automatically transferred into your savings. Maybe you can increase that five bucks every month. So if you get paid twice a month, one month it's $30. The next month is 35. The next month is 42 you get to a point where you can no longer afford to increase it. If you just increase it 20 or $30 a month. Over time that's gonna be a big amount of money is anything you can do to help you save more money is the way you need be thinking. Now don't go out to dinner every night. Do a once a month. Don't do as much Saul Bration don't go out to happy hour every week with people you work with maybe in the summertime have come over to your house instead. Have everybody bring their own beverages. Maybe you pride some of the foods they grew fill out whatever, with you have a pool in the backyard and you attain a lot. Keep reducing the amount of food that you're buying until you have no leftovers. And then if he's still want to save some money, reduce it down a little bit more. And then say, the person that comes over the most, can you bring some meat with you next time? Or can you bring some extra beverages or whatever, get everybody to help you and share the opportunity, the time you're spending together, and have everybody paying a little bit as gonna be much better than one person paying for all of it. Those are just my ideas, maybe the work for you, maybe they won't, but the idea here is to quit using credit, make the minimum payment, increase your savings, however, you can do it, build it up over time. If you can manage to build it up before your Christmas shopping, then use that extra instead of paying down your debt. Use it to pay for your Christmas shopping so you're not increasing your debt not increasing your debt is just as important of paying down your debt. He keep it positive attitude and come up with ways that work for you. That is gonna help you save money.