The Christmas season is here again! Christmas is more than just a religious holiday. In fact, Christmas brings along with it an entire season—from the end of November to the beginning of the next year. During the Christmas season we see an increase in social activities. Christmas is also a mega-economic event with a global reach. People around the globe celebrate Christmas and benefit from the buying and selling that comes with the season.
In 2018 American families spent on average about $1500. In 2019 that number is smaller but almost the same. That is about 1 trillion dollars in holiday spending in the US alone! This is good for the producers and seller, but is it also good for the consumers and buyers? It is best when both groups can benefit from the Christmas season, and come off better at the end of the season. So, I am offering some tips from two perspectives: As an economist (who knows a little about earning and spending); and as a pastor (who knows a little about what God says regarding our earning and spending).
- Make a list. This is always good and especially useful during this time. It is easy to go overbudget during the Christmas season. Your list should include everything you need for your celebration of Christmas: gifts, food, travels, etc. [Proverbs 21:5].
- Have a Budget. Here you want to be prayerful, thoughtful, and reasonable. [Luke 14:28-30].
- Adjust your list to your budget, and not your budget to your list. Don’t spend what you don’t have. Gifts can be given anytime during the year. Nobody will refuse a gift just because it wasn’t given at Christmas. And if they do, then they should not have been on your list in the first place. [Proverbs 22:3].
- Do the New Year Health Check. On January 31st of the next year, check to see how you are doing emotionally and financially. Are you happy that you celebrated Christmas, or stressed out because you overspent? Strive to be healthy (emotionally and financially) on January 31st of each year. [Proverbs 17:22].
- Honor God with your finances at Christmas. Gift a stranger. Help a needy person. Volunteer at a charity. Give an extra gift to your church. Bless a child. Check your attitude. Watch what you eat, drink, and how you celebrate. Have fun at Christmas without dishonoring Christ. [Proverbs 3:9-10].
Wisdom for this Week
When you follow your money, you overspend and end up in debt.
When your money follows you, you are disciplined and enjoy financial health.