Thursday, January 14, 2010

End: The Holidays; Enter: The Credit Card Bills

-January 14th… Just a few more weeks and the credit card statements will start rolling in from the holidays - Ouch. How much did you spend this year? How much were you planning on spending this year?

I’m not going to lie, this was an especially expensive holiday season for us and to be completely honest I don’t think we were prepared nearly enough for it.

True Story:

Every Holiday season we really hit the Holiday hustle hard, we log approximately 3000 miles on our car during the course of about 4 weeks. Our family really does not have a huge gift list since we do not have children yet, so it  seems like the Christmas saving we have set aside will be enough – wrong. I should know better, I talk about this every day, but for some reason I neglected to budget in our Christmas savings for travel expense.

So there we are, cruising down I-29, singing our lungs out to the music; when every drivers worst road-trip nightmare happens. Thump! thump thump thump thump…. Flat tire. Not just one, but both rear tires, to the rim. Now mind you, we are in the middle of no where, it’s – 14 degrees outside, almost dark and I only have about 1/8th of a tank of gas left. If there was ever a memory making family moment, this was it. flat-tire

To make a long story short, after a series of fortunate events we made it home. The not so fortunate event was the purchase of 4 new tires = $600.

We were not prepared. This expense was just not in our holiday spending plan. Should I have known that there was going to be some travel related expenses? Absolutely. Could I have set some money aside for this type of cost? Sure. Did I? No.

Yes ladies and gentlemen, Christmas happens the same time every year. 

Believe it or not there is a solution. At Gallup FCU we call it a “Holiday Savings Account” and I have already changed my automatic savings contribution to include travel expenses next year. You can do it too! A Holiday account is simply a savings account earmarked for Christmas – you can open one at any financial institution.

If you want more information about our Holiday account give me a call! This is a great way to keep your sanity next year when the Holiday hustle hits.


  1. Great Post! My family lives in Seattle, and every year we say we are going to try and make it home for Christmas. But Every year October hits and we realize we don't have an extra $1000 to buy plane tickets... So after another year of not being able to make it home for Christmas, we have adjusted our "Christmas budget" for plane tickets!

    PS $600 for 4 tires? HOLY LORD! You do realize you have a friend that works in the car business who could have gotten you a much better price;)

  2. Great post!! We did really well this year, but want to do even better next year! We too, are figuring out how to adjust our budget to make it a debt free Christmas.

  3. Looking forward to more of these very insightful posts.