YNAB Podcast Episode 86: It's beginning to look halfway like Christmas.

Editor’s Note: The timing of this transcript is interesting, isn’t it? Jesse produced the episode months ago, and now is the time when we’re celebrating (or regretting) our (lack of) preparation for holiday gift giving. Here’s to Rule 2!

Hello YNABers. My name is Jesse Mecham and this is podcast number 86 for You Need A Budget, where we teach you four rules to help you stop living pay check to pay check, get out of debt and save more money.

I want remind everyone – and the sole focus of this podcast is to remind you – that we are halfway through the year, and most of you have holiday spending at the end of the year. It comes the same time every single year, and it has been that way for a long, long time – as long as I can remember. So, we have all, at this point, budgeted for June – unless you’re very late to the party. And that means that you have months one through six to fund your holiday spending category 50%. If you are crazy, maybe you’ve depleted some of that category and have already bought some Christmas gifts. But most of us haven’t – that doesn’t begin until, I don’t know, November, or October for some.

So, this is a very short podcast because I want you to take the other three minutes where I might have said some things, go to your Christmas or holiday category – whatever it is – and see if you are 50% full. Have you set a target for what you want to spend for the holidays? If you haven’t, set that target, divide that in half, compare that to your category balance and see where you fall short. To come up with what you need, take your target, subtract what you have and divide by six. That will be your monthly contribution through the end of 2013 – well, through December, where you fund it at beginning of December, your sixth and final installment. That will get you totally balanced and flush with cash so that you can spend without any guilt. I will talk about this again in January, where you’ll divide your target by twelve and have twelve monthly payments that you make to yourself so that the Christmas spirit can actually exist, and we can be happy and have joy and all that stuff.

I’m not sure what else to really say there. It’s pretty simple. But a lot of times people spend themselves silly with the holidays and then get stressed when January hits. So, spread a little holiday cheer for yourself and be ready for it.

Until next time, follow YNAB’s four rules and you will win financially. You have not budgeted like this.