Why not save beforehand for Christmas?

  • Pay in cash: there is no need to build up debt at this time of year if you save enough to pay for Christmas (File photograph)

    Pay in cash: there is no need to build up debt at this time of year if you save enough to pay for Christmas (File photograph)

Dear Dave,

Iíve never heard you talk about store layaway programmes. With Christmas coming, I wanted to ask your opinion of using layaway for buying gifts.

ó Meg


Dear Meg,

If you know me, you probably have a good idea whatís coming next. Iím not a huge fan of layaway programmes, because theyíre not the answer to a problem. I mean, Christmas comes at the same time every year. Itís not like it snuck up on you. Whatís wrong with just saving up money for Christmas ahead of time?

Hereís a good rule of thumb: if you donít have the money on hand, you canít afford it. Now, sometimes there are instances when certain popular items are on sale, and you can take advantage of them through layaway if you donít have enough cash at that very moment. I donít have a huge problem with this sort of thing, as long as itís not habitual behaviour, and youíre already saving money and living on a budget. Still, I would never, ever recommend using a layaway plan with fees attached.

It may be too late to budget for this Christmas, but I want you to make plans to start living on a written, monthly budget in January. Make it a resolution! Give every dollar a name, on paper, before the upcoming month begins.

You can include Christmas spending in those monthly budgets, too. If you set aside a little bit each month from January until next December, you wonít have to worry about layaways or Christmas debt.

Remember, Christmas is about God and itís about love. There are many, many ways to bless people and make them happy without overextending yourself financially!

ó Dave

ē Dave Ramsey is CEO of Ramsey Solutions. He has authored seven bestselling books, including The Total Money Makeover. The Dave Ramsey Show is heard by more than 16 million listeners each week on 600 radio stations and multiple digital platforms. Follow Dave on the web at daveramsey.com and on Twitter at @DaveRamsey

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Published Dec 14, 2019 at 8:00 am (Updated Dec 13, 2019 at 7:38 pm)

Why not save beforehand for Christmas?

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