Budgeting Tools from Dave Ramsey

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Long time readers will know how much respect FishPapa and I have for Dave Ramsey. Following the methods that he lays out in his book, The Total Money Makeover, we paid off $18,000 in consumer debt over the course of 18 months. Reading Dave’s book and listening to the free podcast of The Dave Ramsey Show gave us the tools as well as the hope to fight back debt.

I know, I sound like an info-mercial, but it’s true.

We’re Debt-Free!

Today, thanks to God, Dave, and a lot of hard work, we are debt-free! Except for a rental property in Kansas City which I would be happy to sell to you. In February I had the opportunity to meet Dave in person and to tell him our story. I bawled. He gave me a high five.

Dave Ramsey has put together a number of resources to help people get wise with their money.

The book, The Total Money Makeover, is exceptional. I’ve reviewed it several times already. And last Christmas I gave a copy to everyone in the family who didn’t already own one.

When we were heavily into debt, I read the whole book, but focused on Baby Steps 1 and 2: Set up an emergency fund and pay off all debts. It took us about 18 months to do both those things.

In the early part of this year, I reread the book to get a perspective on what to do now that we’ve climbed out of the hole and took some time to catch our breath. It’s been an ongoing discussion over the last few months as we devise a plan to invest and be more fiscally fit.

Envelope Budgeting

Another great tool that we used to get out of debt was the envelope system. While we were learning to budget, we got into the habit of pulling cash from the bank each month to pay for groceries, incidentals, and mad money. The idea is that you can’t bust your budget if the cash is all gone. You just stop spending. At the time I just used regular envelopes and those worked fine.

Last Christmas I bought a few wallet systems, one to keep and two to give away to family members who already had the book. This was my little treat to myself and an encouragement to keep with the envelope budgeting that has served us so well in the past.

Obviously, these are tools that have served our family extremely well. So, it comes as no surprise that I am so excited to share today’s giveaways from Dave Ramsey.

Five winners will each receive a copy of The Total Money Makeover and another five will receive a Designer Envelope System.

What great resources to help you get ready for Christmas!

How to Enter:

There are three ways that you can enter this giveaway. Pick one, pick ’em all.

1. Leave a comment, telling us how you plan to save for Christmas.

2. Follow @RamseyShow and @FishMama on twitter and tweet about this giveaway. Then come back here and leave a separate comment with your twitter handle, telling me you did so.

3. Subscribe to LifeasMOM in a reader or via email and leave a separate comment, telling me you subscribe.

This giveaway will be open until Sunday night, August 1st at 8 pm, PST. Winners will be chosen at random and notified via email. You have 48 hours from the time I send the email to respond, otherwise I reserve the right to choose another winner.


– Disclosure: Dave Ramsey has provided these resources for giveaway. I was not compensated to post positive comments. I have been personally helped by his instruction. Please see my disclosure policy for more information.

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  1. We are re-working our budget to include preschool tuition for 2, so at the same time we’re figuring out how to get Christmas funds available. Thanks for the giveaway, I just started listening to Dave!

  2. I subscribe via RSS

  3. I am an email subscriber.

  4. We’re starting to put a little money away each month so that by the time we get to Christmas, we’re that much further ahead!

  5. I also subscribed to your blog in email!

  6. I subscribe by email, LOVE IT πŸ™‚

  7. Jenette O'Rourke says:

    Thank you for the post! I’m always looking for budgeting tips! I like the wallet idea. πŸ™‚ For Christmas budgeting I put away $40 a week (I get paid weekly) and put it in an envelope. If there is money let after buying gifts it’s a little bonus for us to help go towards something else!

  8. I try to purchase Christmas gifts as I find them year round, and we also set aside money each month. Thanks for the give-away! I would love an envelope system!

  9. We haven’t really spend $$ on Christmas for anyone besides a nephew, which we buy items during the year and watch for sales, using money put aside specifically for gifts.

  10. We spend so much less than we make that Christmas is never an issue! We also stick to a budget per person, so we’ve never had problems with Christmas spending.

  11. I’ve read the book and am a fan. I look forward to the day when we can say we are debt-free. However being in the middle of dental school, it will be a while before we can say that. (Do you have any idea how expensive tuition is??)

    Anyway, we set aside money every month in a ‘gift’ category which covers birthday, showers, and Christmas as well. Makes a big difference!

  12. I subscribe via google reader πŸ™‚

  13. Chrissy J says:

    I take a little money out each month and put it in the “Christmas” envelope. When November/December come around we already have cash to pay for our gifts.

  14. I subscribe in an RSS reader.

  15. To be honest, I have no idea how we will save for Christmas. I would be happy if we could figure out a way to make our monthly budget work.

  16. Melodie Conti says:

    Budgeting for Christmas….hmmmm, that would indicate that I am capable of budgeting for even just the week to come. We have more debt than I like to think about and I would love to learn a new way to get out of it. As for Christmas, squirrling away any extra dollars over the next few months would be a step in the right direction. But for now, my concerns lie in just the weeks ahead!

  17. I follow your blog on my Blogger dashboard.

  18. I really don’t know. I guess just squeeze a little out of every paycheck. In February we paid off my car and the only debt we had was our mortgage. Since then we found out we are expecting our first baby in October (more than our Out of Pocket Max is sitting in our Health Savings Account and I continue to deposit the maximum), started remodeling/gutting our bathroom and kitchen ourselves (because while not fun, it still has to be easier for 2 adults to live in chaos than 2 adults and a baby) this has been paid for out of savings, although it has taken about twice as much of the savings as we thougt it would. And as soon as we got to the point of no return on the remodel, my husbands truck died, so we are back to having a vehicle payment. It is going to be a lean Christmas but we will have a new baby so I don’t think anyone will notice!

  19. I will save money this Christmas by starting my gifts now πŸ™‚

  20. Thank you for the post! I’m always looking for ideas on budgeting. I love the wallet idea! We put away $40 a week (I get paid weekly) in an envelope. If there is money left over after buying gifts we have a little bonus to apply somewhere else!

  21. TallyMichelle says:

    A special envelope is for Christmas. We are using our envelopes, first 1/2 month went okay, looking forward to August being better!

  22. Melodie Conti says:

    I subscribe to your blog via email. I so look forward to reading your hard work each day. Thanks for all you do!

  23. I also subscribed via email.

  24. TallyMichelle says:

    You guessed it – TallyMichelle!

  25. TallyMichelle says:

    and of course, LONG time subscriber!

  26. We’ve been waiting for hubby’s new job to start, which will have a steady paycheck every week…..he was in construction before and it was hard to have a budget… now I’ll finally be able to start a true budget and start saving a little from each paycheck for our Christmas shopping.

  27. I now subscribe to your blog with my google reader! I’d love to win this prize!

  28. I just tweeted about this, following Dave Ramsey now, already been following you πŸ™‚ my Twitter handle is @NinaTerheyden

  29. Now here’s how we’re saving for Christmas: In January, we added up all we spent on Christmas last year and divided the total by 24 to find what we need to set aside each bimonthly pay period. Now, we automatically set that amount aside each pay period and leave it alone.

  30. I already subscribe to your emails too! πŸ™‚

  31. I have not even thought of Christmas! Over the past few years, we have cut down on what we buy and who we buy for. I usually start buying in October and I always keep extra gifts on hand.

  32. I subscribe via feed.

  33. Andrea Watts says:

    I hope to start early and have every gift bought before Christmas.

  34. Andrea Watts says:

    I am following you and Dave on Twitter. I am grace_believer on Twitter

  35. We have a small amount per paycheck put away for Christmas, Vacation and birthdays.

    We love Dave Ramsey and are very thankful for his system!!

  36. Andrea Watts says:

    I’m an RSS subscriber.

  37. We don’t try and save so much for Christmas as we try and buy little things during the year on sale/clearance so we don’t have as much to buy when it comes time. I just started a pseudo envelope system but I could use the real thing!

  38. I am an RSS Subscriber thru Google! Love your blog.

  39. Jessica Crocker says:

    We are starting by saving a little money every 2 weeks. We need to save a little bit more because its my daughters birthday on christmas too πŸ™‚

    Also I subscribing through emails πŸ™‚

  40. Appreciate your blog! Just subscribed via email.

  41. I put money away every month in an account I can’t touch easily. It works great! I would love the envelope system!

  42. First things first…I’ll prepare by talking to my husband about the budget and how much we can spend per child/person we want to buy gifts for!

  43. I just discovered you by accident (was on Money Saving Mom to check her cooking meals and freezing them and she mentioned Fishmama and lasagna and I came to you)and your facebook page held my interest so I went over and subscribed to your email! Mr Ramsey info you were talking about had my interest as well —–so here I am

  44. I do subscribe via reader! Thanks for the neat giveaway – I would love one of those envelope systems!

  45. I save a set amount each payday into my Christmas envelope. My favorite time to shop is the after-holiday sales. Also, I adjusted my celebration ideas realistically by deciding what the holiday meant to me and how to honor those beliefs. Two great resources are “Unplug the Christmas Machine” and “The $100 Holiday”.

  46. A little at a time. i plan to put any unused envelope money into a christmas envelope for the remaining year. Also a few things sold on craigslist will help fill the envelope too.

  47. We just use bank envelopes for our cash, and they fit great into those checkbook wallets you can get at stores like Walmart or Target.

  48. We have a set amount for each person and we try to save toward that goal each month. Some years we have used extra income to fund our christmases.

  49. email subscriber

  50. I have started saving and shopping already. I save a set amount a month and have started shopping clearance aisles!

  51. We used to buy throughout the year for Christmas and I realized we were spending more money than necessary as they kids sometimes “outgrew” gifts before we gave them. This year, we plan to have a Christmas envelope we’ll start in the fall to save.

  52. I am an rss subscriber.

  53. I use a Christmas Club fund through my job to save for Christmas. Last year was the first year. The money comes directly out each payday so I never miss it! This year I increased the total amount a bit. I plan to continue doing this every year until hopefully the club money will be enough to cover our entire Christmas budget! Oh, and I earn a tiny bit of interest on it. It isn’t more than a few dollars, but its free money!

    • Oh, and I have been wanting to read Dave Ramsey’s book for a while now. We are trying to pay down our debt. Its a long and daunting process…

  54. I subscribe via google reader

  55. I started saving all of my Swagbucks for gift cards to pay for Christmas spending! I know that I can get everything on my list at Amazon, and hopefully will be able to use mostly gift cards for my purchases this Christmas.

  56. My husband and I figured out our Christmas 2010 budget back in January and try to sock away money in a special bank account to cover our holiday expenses. We also shopped for Christmas 2010 gifts immediately after Christmas 2009, so we saved mega bucks on toys and clothes!

  57. We are putting a small amount each week away to save fro christmas this year. Hope to win, I’ve been wanting to read this book for a long time!

  58. I just subscribed!

  59. I subscribe via RSS feed.

  60. We don’t usually save specifically for Christmas. We usually get a gift card from my husband’s work at Christmas. We usually use that for the kids and if we have any leftover, get something for each other.

  61. I follow you on Twitter, and now I follow Dave as well. I tweeted about the giveaway – @kris10mary.

  62. I already have an ING Direct account earmarked Christmas. We put our dependent care reimbursement checks into this account once we receive them, and by December, we have more than enough to have a wonderful Christmas. We no longer have to wonder how we are going to pay for Christmas. It is already done!

    We have done the envelope system and Dave Ramsey for 2 and a half years. Our life and stress level is so completely different now. I can’t say enough good things about Dave Ramsey!

  63. I have heard tips from other people that have read his book! I would really like to commit to the envelope system.

    Right now I’m just thinking of saving a certain amount of money each month for Christmas. But I’m hoping to glean more ideas from you!!

  64. I love entering giveaways!
    We prepare for Christmas by making gifts and buying when we see a good deal all throughout the year.

  65. Deirdre Hopkins says:

    We JUST started the total money makeover! I would love a wallet system. We are on baby step #2. Probably not spending very much on Christmas this year. Maybe we will start a Christmas envelope.

  66. We have put a “Christmas Fund” into our budget and we put a little money each month into the fund. I love Dave Ramsey too! I carry around individual envelopes which I often drop out of my pocketbook when making purchases. I have not seen this wallet, looks like it makes using the envelopes easier!! Wow!!

  67. Deirdre Hopkins says:

    Follow via RSS feed.

  68. I just subscribed via email.

  69. I have an automated transfer to ING every month specifically for Christmas. Cool giveaway – we love Dave Ramsey also!

  70. I’m a subscriber.

  71. I am using swagbucks, target gc’s I get when doing deals, and putting aside a small amt each paycheck.

  72. I plan to use gift cards that im going to get using mypoints and swagbucks to pay for hopefully most of Christmas… I am also not above shopping thrift and consignment stores for gifts, my kids dont need a 200.00 item brand new when I can get it for over half off elsewhere, so what if its been used before, if its in good shape then im going for the cheaper item hands down!

  73. we save in general by setting up ING automatic transfers once a month. One to a house budget(for repairs and updates), savings for our kids, and our savings which is part future car purchase and other unexpected expenses such as car repairs.

  74. My husband and I are going through Dave’s FPU online right now and are just finishing our first month with a budget and envelopes. I would love to win the wallet!

    We have begun saving for Christmas using an envelope and look forward to having all cash by the time Christmas arrives!

  75. i read you via my google reader

  76. I follow your blog via email & facebook. Thanks!

  77. I re-tweeted your giveaway at:

  78. I subscribe to LifeAsMom using Google Reader. Thanks for the holiday planning guides. Can’t wait to use them!

  79. Im following you & Dave via twitter
    I tweeted about this giveaway

  80. Anna Whiteside says:

    We are trying to scale back for Christmas. Every time I clean the house, I realize that my kids have more than they need. Still, it’s a great idea to start putting some money away now!

  81. I subscribed via email

  82. I just finished reading total money makeover and we have since payed off our debt. I still have the “perks” from the credit card company, so before I closed the card, I redeemed over $200 gift cards for christmas. That will definetly help kick start the season! Thanks for all your great posts!

  83. At this point, we’re hoping on an October bonus to pay for Christmas (my hubby often gets one that time of year). Our budget is very tight due to an extra house that we haven’t been able to sell or rent! We’re praying, though, that the house will sell this month (or sooner). Then, in addition to saving some for Christmas, we’ll be able to scream “we’re debt free” by this time next year!

  84. I’m hoping to save up for Christmas using my Swagbucks gift cards! Lots of searching going on here!

  85. I subscribe via email!

  86. My husband and I have been struggling with our finances, and each have wanted to purchase the book or attend his seminars, but just haven’t done so yet. I think this may God’s way of telling me to DO IT!! I would love to receive this book!!

  87. I follow you and the Ramsey Show on Twitter – @texastypeamom

    texastypeamom (at) gmail (dot) com

  88. We have it set up so that a small portion of our paycheck is automatically deposited into a super saver account for Christmas purchases – would love to win the book! (the organizer would be great too!) I have been trying to explain Dave Ramsey’s philosophies to my husband but he’s just not buying in – hopefully the book would help!

  89. I subscribe in google reader

  90. I haven’t even started thinking about a budget yet for Christmas. It seems so far away, but it will creep up on us in no time!!!

  91. Would love, love, love to win this! We are aggressively working on paying off our debt right now in hopes that I’ll be able to be a full-time stay at home mom (my dream job!).
    We currently put money aside each pay for vacation/Christmas. January through June we save for vacation and pay cash for a week away at the beach. July through December we save for Christmas and pay cash for all holiday expenses.

    Thanks for the opportunity!

  92. Catherine says:

    We just converted to the envelope system and have an envelope for “gifts” which needs to cover christmas, birthdays, showers, etc.

  93. Catherine says:

    I also subscribe via email

  94. We give less – spend less. Each person in your family (and extended family) does not need a $40 gift or 10 gifts under the tree each. Think of family gifts or a gift of a project/task that the other person does not like or is not able to do. A zoo, museum or the local pool membership, clean the gutters or the yard, do the grocery shopping, make a meal each month, etc.

  95. We’re able to spend less than we make, so Christmas has always been fine, but this year I want to plan ahead specifically for it and save each month. It’s much more freeing to have a specific amount set aside for it than to just “spend as little as possible, within reason.”

  96. My husband’s company has a Christmas Club so we have money taken out of each of his paychecks. Then in November, the checks are cut and we have our Christmas shopping money. It’s worked great for us the last few years.

    We love Dave and have his book but I would LOVE one of the envelope system wallets!! {hint, hint!}

  97. I’m a subscriber through Google Reader!

  98. We budget for Christmas by figuring out how much we think we will have to spend with all the people we want to buy for plus a little extra. Than we figure out how many weeks we have until Christmas and start saving the amount we need to each week to reach our goal by November. It has worked out for us so far because we don’t have children yet. I’m not sure what we will do once we start our family. Thanks for the great giveaway!

  99. I have started a direct sales business part time to help with Christmas this year.

  100. Margaret Brant says:

    We have a small set amount that we start setting aside at the beginning of the year, so we’ll be set by Christmas shopping time!

  101. I’d love to win! We usually have a large chunk of money budgeted each month for annual expenses – Christmas falls into that category. I would love to try the envelope system, so this might be the nudge I need!

  102. We save back a little money each month, make a list of wants for each person, and then scour the ads and internet for the best deals so we can stretch our money a bit further.

  103. I am an RSS subscriber.

  104. I start buying gifts early, whenever I see a deal. And we put aside a little money every month. I would love to win this! Thanks for the chance.

  105. We save for Christmas buy using a Christmas bonus that we get soley for Christmas. In addition to that, we also have so much taken out at each check and put into savings. With our savings we will in turn remove a certain amount from that and use it towards Christmas. We never have Christmas debt thankgoodness.

    I would love to win the envelope cash system! or the book even, I have been wanting to try his system for years but didn’t want to spend the money. Go figure.

  106. I also subscribed via email and look forward to getting those in my inbox!

  107. My husband and I are Financial Peace University graduates, and we also use the envelope system. We have already set aside part of our monthy budget for holidays, so hopefully we will make it stress-free this year!

  108. I also subscribe to your blog through a RSS feed. I love it!

  109. We have been following Dave Ramsey also, and we’ve paid off $20,000 in debt in the past year! This year we will be using my husband’s sales bonus check to pay for our Christmas gifts, supplies, etc. He gets bonuses twice a year based on how much he sells at his job, and so far he is up to $1,000 for his bonus in November. Whatever we don’t use for Christmas from that check will go towards paying off the last part of our Debt Snowball. I’m hoping to be frugal, so that we can put most of that check towards debt and only a little toward Christmas.

  110. I love DAVE. He has also changed our lives. I now have been saving every month for Christmas. This also allows me to have money for when I see great deals during the year. I also love sales!

  111. We have money taken directly out of our account twice a month and it goes directly to a sub account at ING that is tagged for Christmas. By the end of the year we have well over $600 in the account!!

  112. I subscribe via rss

  113. I actually printed off and filled out the budget form from your website this morning! The husband and I figured out how much we would spend on everyone, and other things such as gas, food ect. and divided it by 5 now we know how much we need to save each month! πŸ™‚ I’m very excited!

  114. I subscribe via rss

  115. I’ve already started all the shopping, I hot all the end of summer sales and July black Fridays. I also keep a Christmas club account.

  116. This year I’ve been setting aside $20 every month in a Christmas envelope and also plan to use swagbucks to get gift cards for family and friends. I also purchase gifts during the year if I happen to see an item that I know someone in my family will love.

  117. Angie Sullivan says:

    I follow via email and Facebook.

    Christmas will be here before I know it…

  118. Jessica A. says:

    I used to not budget for Christmas and would work with whatever money we had left at the time. With our new daughter though I have been saving amazon gift cards via swagbucks and have been setting aside $10 every month. I also buy a few presents throughout the year when I find a great deal.

  119. We have been using cash to pay for items instead of the debit card so we save all of the change to put towards christmas gifts. I have also been saving the money from rebates and rite aid checks for christmas too. It’s not much but it’s at least something. I have been hearing so many good things about Dave Ramsey lately and I would like to read this book and become debt free . Thanks for the chance.
    cthompson1477@gmail dot com

  120. We are on the Dave Ramsey plan too…. working on baby step 1 and 2 with all our might. Your story gives me encouragement.

    We are saving $10 -$20 a pay period for Christmas and I am selling things on ebay to find money to spend on our children. We are also doing a LOT of homemade Christmas this year.

    Thanks for your blog!

  121. leslie blair says:

    Plan ahead for Christmas? Just this month my husband and I really sat down and worked through the Dave R. recommendations. We are on a role, inspired by a house we found but couldn’t afford simply because of debt! I had not even thought to include Christmas money!!! I need these tools at my finger tips, the Dave. R stuff we have now was borrowed! Please help us get organized by more of your great advice and wisdom!

  122. I subscribe using Google Reader.

  123. For the past 4 years I have used our banks Christmas club account. Every week when I get paid, I deposit a set amount, and in October they send out a check for whatever amount you have saved for that year. You can’t withdraw the money, and we never stress at Christmas time about where the money will come from.

  124. We are putting $50 away per month in a account!

  125. Leslie G. says:

    We shop clearance all year long, so we might give sand toys or summer clothes, but everyone seems to enjoy that!

  126. Jessica Gaul says:

    My Husband and I have been working very hard to be debt free. Its hard, we are just starting out and it seems like something major needs to be bought monthly. So this book would do a great deal for us.

    As for christmas, I like to make my gifts. I like to knit, so i have started to search sales/coupons/clearences to make items for my family. AS you may know knitting is not cheap, its actually pretty expensive. So if I can start now and not buy in a panic and rush my gifts it makes it a lot easier. We also bake for all our nieghbors, so i use the coupon system to get the best deals. It always looks like I spent so much time and money on things that are quite simple. Another idea for this year is doing my 10 dollar challenge. I am making baskets for some people with every day items i get cheap-to free and making a basket. You can get baskets at walmart for 2.50. Its fun and everyone loves these. In these slow job growth times, its nice to have these things that can be rather expensive if you dont coupon. Plus the time and thought you put into it makes it more worth while.

  127. We receive a small check each month for natural gas well royalties. We try to set it aside for Christmas expenses. If we are still short as we get closer to Christmas, we will cut small amounts from our other budget categories (groceries, gas, etc.)

  128. I shop for Christmas presents all year round. Whenever I see something that I know my kiddos will like and it is on sale/clearance I snatch it up and stash it away for either birthdays/Christmas. I also use up my Amazon gift cards from Swagbucks and surveys. This helps out immensely. Thanks for this giveaway my husband and I are $17,000 in debt and I have no idea where to start. This would be a great help, I’m sure.

  129. I also subscribed to your feed via email.

  130. I’m going to start putting money aside for our Christmas fund right now….little bit at a time. I would love to have a more formal envelope budgeting tool….very cool idea!

  131. I subscribe via email. πŸ™‚

  132. Christina says:

    I suscribe via email!

  133. I susbscribe via email.

  134. Christina H says:

    For the last couple of years we have skipped celebrating Christmas with families due to tight budget. I would love to have a system in place (one that actually works) to help save and help us celebrate.

  135. I tweeted about you! Happy to find you, Jessica! @jenmanskefenske

  136. Jennifer C. says:

    I’d love to win the envelope system. Already “read” the audio book of Total Money Makeover and listen to the show when I can, usually online in the archives! We are on baby step two and so close to paying off close to 100,000!!! I’d give the book away if I won it!

    • Jennifer C. says:

      @Jennifer C.,
      Whoops. Supposed to share how to save for Christmas. We already have a montly budgeted amt. towards our year end Christmas fund! I plan to do a lot of online deal hunting. Using mypoints and swagbucks for extra gift cards, etc. and maybe making some homemade gifts too!

  137. Jennifer C. says:

    subscribe in google reader!

  138. I looooove envelopes! We follow Dave’s plan (we’re on BS3) and I am wild about paying cash. It’s crazy how much less you spend when it’s “real” money. Thanks for the giveaway!

  139. Two ways I’m planning to make Christmas hurt less this year:
    1. Start now!!!
    2. Open a “santa saver” account at our local credit union. They’ll do an auto transfer into it for whatever amount I choose, and it pays out before Christmas. By shopping early I can use the payout from santa saver to start on the following year’s gifts!

  140. I buy a little at a time for several months to accomplish Christmas buying.

  141. We buy gifts throughout the year to split up the cost. If I see a gift that would work well for someone, I pick it up. That way our December bill isn’t so devastating.

  142. I love Dave Ramsey! We will budget a set amount each month to set a side into savings for Christmas. We also list everyone we are getting something/making something for and put a set amount by their name. It really helps to stay in line. Homemade gifts are the way to go for friends/family.

  143. We don’t really budget for Christmas, but I love shopping deals and pick up gifts throughout the year.

  144. I follow you via Google Reader.

  145. We plan on putting away a little from each check into an envelope like we did last year… It ended up wirking out great for us!

  146. Yikes, I don’t know. I really need the envelope system, already have the book, but I need to read and follow it.

  147. Saving for Christmas should be a bit easier this year, since we moved halfway across the country! We had already talked about drawing names in my husband’s (large and kid-heavy) family, and it will be easier to resist the temptation to buy something for everyone when we won’t be seeing them all. Also looking into budget-friendly gifts from our new region, including grocery-store gifts.

  148. I subscribe via Google Reader. Thanks!

  149. We put a little money aside each check and I shop all year around for Christmas gifts as well as any other gifts. That way I can buy what we would like without a lot of money

  150. We are using ING direct.

  151. Diana Hardy says:

    We are putting away a little bit each month for Christmas gifts. I’m also buying stuff in advance as I come across a great deal. Got some presents already at Target at 75% off. Thank you for your wonderful blog and for this fun giveaway. We’re big Dave Ramsey fans!

    Diana H.

  152. Diana Hardy says:

    I subscribed via email. Thanks!

  153. We are saving for Christmas by tucking away money when we can to our Christmas envelope, which is a reused birthday card envelope. We would love to have Dave’s envelope system. We love Dave, too!

  154. Big Dave Ramsey fan here! We have paid off almost $50,000 in the past 18 months. We hope to be debt free when my husband lands his new job.

    Thank you for spreading the word. Dave’s plan WORKS.

  155. I am also a big Dave fan!
    We get 3 paychecks in October and so we will use part of the 3rd to fun the Christmas budget.

  156. I want to start setting money aside from our bank account now for Christmas and start looking for sales to save money on Christmas gifts.

  157. Following Ramsey Show and Fish Mama on twitter and tweeted here:

  158. Subscribed to Life as a Mom in reader.

  159. On the 2nd payday of every month, I transfer a set amount to our savings account and put it into the Christmas gift category. We limit our gift giving for family, friends, and teachers to the amount we have saved, so sometimes I don’t feel like we are being very generous and we can’t give to everyone I would like to, but it is all we can afford and I WON’T go into debt for Christmas. Would love to win either gift!

  160. Janey L. says:

    The envelope system would be a wonderful addition to our monthly budget process. We recently finished Dave’s online program and the only debt we have left is our mortgage. We are also on a plan for me to quit my job and be able to stay home with our kids!!

  161. I subscribe to your blog!

  162. Our family is starting a new job, in a new town on Monday and one of the places we realized was a hole in our budget was Christmas/gifts. We are adding it in! I borrowed this book from the library earlier this year and thought it was great. I would be happy to own it!

  163. I am saving for our cooking/baking expenses by pulling out 10.00 a month from our grocery budget.

  164. Jennifer says:

    We have already begun saving and my Christmas bonus always goes 100% towards Christmas.

  165. I subscribe by e-mail

  166. Have not started saving for Christmas yet, but hopefully soon!

  167. Lindsey R says:

    Yeah! Thanks for spreading the Dave Ramsey love! This is my first year buying gifts ahead of time! I know it will make Christmas easier on my schedule and finances! I have been buying things on some great deals too—lots of good info from your pal at Money Saving Mom πŸ™‚

  168. We just added a “Christmas Envelope” to our budget for this year! Thanks for the idea, FishMama. We plan to pay cash for all gifts. This will be the first year without credit cards for us!

  169. I am an email subscriber, too.

  170. My husband gets paid every other week, rather than twice per month, which makes for 2 seemingly “extra” paychecks each year. In the past I have always just pocketed the second “extra” check for the year and made it our Christmas cash, but you are making me reconsider my plans for this year. There are plenty of other things I could be using that “extra” money for if I started budgeting for Christmas now.

  171. I have no plan for saving for christmas. That’s my problem! I usually pray that my husband gets a bonus right before or something πŸ™

  172. I subscribe to life as Mom on google reader.

  173. For the last two years, we have saved $ each month in our monthly budget so that when it comes to be Nov/Dec we’re not spending huge amounts of $ that we don’t really have. We’re still trying to fine tune the exact amount that we want/think we’ll spend but it’s nice to have that $ put aside ahead of time.

  174. I subscribe via e-mail.

  175. Dave Ramsey has changed our life!! We save for Christmas every month. All the money goes into our “gifts” savings account and there is NO stress in Dec. or Jan.

  176. I’m a subscriber.

  177. I plan on learning from this on how to move forward w/ holiday budget. We also use work bonus to help.

  178. I subscribe.

  179. JillmomtoGrace says:

    This would be a wonderful tool to have. We are looking to start saving money more than we are now. Thank you for this giveaway!

  180. JillmomtoGrace says:

    I follow you on & Dave on twitter!

  181. I purchased two gifts in June, one in July (even have that one wrapped). Planning ahead and purchasing items when they are available at extra-special values.

  182. JillmomtoGrace says:

    I also get your emails!

  183. We are planning our gifts ideas already. Looking for clearance specials and getting homemade gifts started. We’ve already told the kids we are going to lighten up Christmas presents this year, so they know what to expect when the time comes.

  184. Having been laid off in March, Christmas looks especially tight this year. I think the envelope system is right up my alley!

  185. Following on Twitter @gstricklin

  186. Drasylve says:

    We save for Christmas by purchasing year around things that we find on sale. I am almost done with a good portion of the family!

  187. I am using Swagbucks and rewards points from a credit card (which gets paid off monthly) to get Amazon gift cards which will be used for Christmas gifts! I also make homemade gifts and try to shop throughout the year!

  188. I am not sure exactly how we will be saving for Christmas. I really spread the spending out through out the year buying presents as I see them and taking the money for plane tickets out of our float (extra money in the bank for irregular expenses)

  189. I subscribe to you via reader

  190. Sheryl F. says:

    I am trying to pick up a few things each paycheck.

  191. Sheryl F. says:

    I am an email subsciber.

  192. We are big Dave Ramsey/FPU fans, too! We paid off our van a year early, and the payment amount will now be going into savings for Christmas. We should have MORE THAN ENOUGH!

  193. i am going to start babysitting a friends child so that money will help with our christmas fund. i also like to buy throughout the year when i find things on sale!

  194. I plan to put a money in an envelope each month.

  195. We use Dave’s envelope system and put aside the Christmas money monthly. It works beautifully, except that I need to increase the amount slightly per month.

  196. RSS Subscriber

  197. Hezzielee says:

    Our bank has been fabulous about helping us save for Christmas! It has a “holiday” club (Though we all know it’s really CHRISTmas…) and we set aside $25 each week/payckeck automatically. By the end of the year it’s enough for us to buy all of our gifts, plus a few we usually didn’t expect!

  198. Michelle P. says:

    First of all I love Dave Ramsey!!! And thanks to this website we are now working on our baby steps.
    We are trying to shop early for Christmas and putting away a little cash each paycheck to hopefully cover my extended family that makes a list in the month of December!

  199. Michelle P. says:

    I am a subscriber!

  200. I budget for Christmas by taking advantage of direct deposit and my bank’s Christmas Club! Money goes straight from my paycheck into a special savings account and then in October I get a check cut for the total amount that was in my Christmas Club. Then shopping can begin with no concerns about where the money is coming from!

    Thanks for the giveaways… Our house and finances are on the “Dave Ramsey diet” and we love it. I had ten copies of his TMMO and gave them all away – I’d love to win a copy to keep for myself.

  201. patricia says:

    Opening a separate bank account and direct deposit 5% of paycheck until christmas

  202. Adrienne says:

    We haven’t started saving anything yet – we have got to get on that soon!

  203. Also a follower of Dave’s advice…we paid off $20,000 in one year, about 3 years ago! Praise God!!! I also use the envelope system and put $60 away each month for Christmas. I am going to spend all the money I’ve saved so far in the Christmas budget this week on gifts to get a jump start. Last year I vowed to never have a crazy december again! Thanks for encouraging us to think about Christmas early…and do it on a budget!!!

  204. Adrienne says:

    I subscribe via google reader.

  205. We are budgeting for Christmas by saving giftcards we have and using swagbucks and mypoints to cash in on giftcards. I think this year will be leaner than years past, so I will have to be a good bargain hunter. πŸ™‚

    njfoley at sbcglobal dot net

  206. I’m an email subscriber.

    njfoley at sbcglobal dot net

  207. To save for our Christmas I start buying now. I am currently working on my list. And as we have a little wiggle room in the budget I purchase the items on the list. Our goal is to be completed and wrapped by Thanksgiving.

  208. We have participated in FPU and are working on our baby steps. I wanted to comment on how we are saving money for Christmas:
    I am a fulltime homeschooling mom with a small part time business. I had a friend who started a job today and needed someone to keep her son between the time Dad goes to work and Mom gets off. Just two hours and Daycare wants to fill their full time spots and won’t accomidate people like them. Perfect part time job for this Mom. We just include him in our routine and it helps us all out. Look for opportunities to fit your needs, they are out there.

  209. Each year we put a little money away every month into a Christmas fund. This year I am starting my shopping early when I find appropriate deals and discounts on nice gifts.

  210. Catherine says:

    My way of saving for Christmas is actually to do most of my shopping throughout the year. I already have several gifts and am always looking for things on sale that would work for Christmas.

  211. I already subscribe via email, but I wanted to leave a comment.

    We’ve been working on becoming debt free for some time, but always seem to fall backwards. We haven’t gotten any farther in debt and we’ve gotten a little bit out of debt, but no where near what we’d like. I would love the opportunity to receive either the book or wallet system.

    We have twin two year olds and a newborn (3 weeks old tomorrow) so saving for Christmas is becoming more and more imperative. I’m trying to figure out now how to put away a few dollars every month and still stay on budget. I’m new to your blog, but love everything I’m reading so far. Thank you for the encouragement on being able to become debt free!

  212. We are also on a tight budget, but I am saving my amazon giftcards that I am earning from swagbucks, plus starting to put a little money away each month for Christmas gifts. I also plan on giving a lot of homemade gifts this year! Have thought about doing the envelope system, would love the wallet!

  213. I also follow you through email.

  214. We started putting money away at the beginning of the year and finished off our Christmas fund with part of our tax return. We are good to go! Financially ready to pay cash for Christmas for the 3rd year in a row! The Lord changed our lives by finding Dave & learning “Grandma’s principles”. We have the Total Money Makeover book, but I would love a designer envelope wallet!!!

  215. We have been doing pinecone surveys and using swagbucks to help offset some of our holiday spending.I have been trying to catch stocking type things on sale with coupons.I am also scheduling appts in the same area or office in one day to minimize driving and “on the go eating”.I think the envelope system would help us greatly with even more savings.Thanks for the chance to win.

  216. I subscribe via Google reader.

  217. Jet started the envelopes

  218. Catherine says:

    I subscribe via Google Reader.

  219. Jennifer B says:

    I was just hired into a ft job after being a contractor. So we get to save for Christmas this year by having a portion of each pay period get direct deposited into savings and then the rest goes into checking. I never see the money so I almost forget about it til I get my statement. It adds up quickly even though its just a small amount each time.

  220. We have 12 nieces and nephews that we give gifts to. Things aren’t great financially for us so I’ve just started couponing and stockpiling to save money, make sure all the bills are paid, and so we can save up for Christmas. We give each niece and nephew a savings bond that costs us $25 but will accrue interest and have a $50 or more value at the end of it’s maturity. We have decided that we will not be exchanging gifts as a family unless I find a good deal at a garage sale for our son. What we can save each month through couponing and stockpiling will go towards the gifts for extended family and the six babies whose births we will be celebrating from now through December!

  221. We LOVE DR as well. I would love to have a designer envelope wallet (I already have 2 copies of his book, one is a loaner for any and everybody that I can loan it to). We are saving for Christmas using our budgeting tools from DR but I am also using Swagbucks to try to offset any costs. I am also planning on making most/if not all the gifts that I cannot buy with my Free Amazon e-cards that I get from swagbucks.

  222. I subscribe via Google Reader!

  223. Catherine says:

    Oh I forgot to say the most important way I’m “saving” for Christmas is to cut back! We don’t exchange presents with many of our extended family at all but focus on time together. My husband and I give each other a donation to WorldVision, and we try to make our kids’ Christmas mostly about experiences and a reasonable number of presents under the tree without going crazy.

  224. We’re saving for Christmas two ways: 1) Hubby gets paid weekly; we put a little bit into savings each week for Christmas 2) any rebates I get from my couponing and the Drug Store game go into that fund as well.

  225. We have Christmas with family in Texas and Georgia plus our one year wedding anniversary, my birthday and exams for my hubby who’s in dental school. We’ve decided to start stockpiling presents now whenever we found something we like and pull out $50 each month until December.

  226. We started giving the kids three presents each like Baby Jesus received – a gold present (something within reason they really really want) a myrrh present (something in-between) and a frankenscience present ( just a little something on their list) – it has really made them think about what they really want and not just everything on their list – and I couldn’t do it without my Christmas Club at the bank and this year hopefully swag bucks will help!

  227. I plan to write it into my budget for the following months & give that money it’s own envelope.

  228. I subscribe via email

  229. We LOVE Dave Ramsey! debt free because of him. We budget, do the envelope system, budget for Christmas all year long, use coupons, invest, well I could go on and on. good luck to all you of you who working toward Financial Peace!

  230. marian stringer says:

    for christmas, i am putting away $50/pay period plus any extra money that i have left in my budget. we have 3 little ones!

  231. We’re saving for Christmas using the envelope system. My husband had completed the Financial Peace seminar before we were married and then once we were married, we went through it together. Thanks for the giveaway!!

  232. I’m a subscriber via RSS.

  233. AllieZirkle says:

    We’re being proactive! We’re talking, budgeting, and creating a plan. Soon, once school is back in session and hubby gets a fall pay check, we’ll be putting money aside.

  234. I subscribe via rss

  235. I though Christmas was in July this year. πŸ˜‰ We’ll be setting aside some money in envelopes to save for Christmas.

  236. For Christmas I use the money and gift cards I earn by taking online surveys and swagbucks. We also shop year round for bargains and deals and save them for Christmas time.

  237. I follow you in my reader!

  238. We prep for Christmas in a few diff. ways- we set aside $ each month for gifts and look/shop throughout for gifts throughout the year. I stock up on wrapping paper at post holiday sales and scotch tape @ back to school sales.
    This year will be an extra challenge as we are expecting #4 around Thanksgiving.

  239. Jennifer says:

    I am saving all my swagbucks I have earned this year to use them to purchase gift cards for Christmas presents

  240. I plan on using all the rewards accumulated on my credit card over the years as well as have that card be at zero balance. I can probably have enough rewards for most gifts outside my immediate family i.e. cousins or neighbors etc with a few left for our kids. This credit card is almost entirely paid off.
    AND I plan to have all gift purchased before Oct 31 so I don’t have to be in a rush to get any ole thing.
    AND each kid will get one “large” present, two small, and a stocking
    AND I have a set budget to buy from.
    After Oct 31 the envelope for this Christmas will be closed.

  241. kathleen says:

    my husband gets monthly points that he can trade in for gift cards. he usually gets about $200 to $300 worth a month on a good month. so we save up a few months worth which we start now and we are done by about september. it is so nice, we have 4 kids and it really takes the pressure off of how are we going to do christmas, and i dont run up a huge credit card bill i have to pay later.

  242. kathleen says:

    i follow on email

  243. I just bought the Dave Ramsey TMM book last week! I would love to win the Envelope System. If I win the book it would be awesome to give it away to a friend or family member.
    We’re just starting out trying to get our emergency fund together but I’m hoping I can save by Christmas by putting some money aside each month too, haven’t figured out how much yet.

  244. I subscribe/follow your blog through blogger πŸ™‚

  245. I pick up gifts each month so that when Dec rolls around, I don’t have a big output of cash.

  246. I am saving up for the book, it would be cool to win it!

  247. I subscribe by email

  248. We do budget all year for Christmas- not sure if I’ve found the right amount yet or not. I also can use my year’s worth of swagbucks to get gift cards if I’m short. We were out of work for a few months, so this can make up for some of that.

  249. I follow in Reader.

  250. I’m setting aside every $5 bill that I receive as change and that will go towards our Christmas money. If it’s above and beyond what we want to spend on Christmas, it will go towards our vacation fund.

  251. I subscribed. Thank you so much for all the advice and tips you share. You help me out so much, I love reading your blog!

  252. When we looked over our budget for the year, we took Christmas into account and have therefore been putting a little bit away every month. I’m happy to report that I’m more than 1/2 way done with my Christmas shopping. Since the money was there, I was able to snag great deals when I found them.

  253. I’m putting aside some money each month just for Christmas gifts; I stretch that money by shopping sales and being creative. I just did two “art boxes” with school supplies that are on sale-$2.13 each!

  254. I subscribe via RSS. I love your blog and read it every morning. We have paid down a third of our debt since reading your blog and The Total Money Makeover! I am saving for Christmas by adding another envelope to our system. I am also trying to talk my extended family into a homemade Christmas where we make things for each other, instead of buying. Thank you for all you do!

  255. I’m subscribed in google reader.

  256. We have a Christmas Club account at the bank!

  257. I haven’t even started thinking about how to save for Christmas yet. I should do that! Maybe I’ll set some cash aside each month. Thanks for prompting me to start planning this! (This is why I would love to win either of your giveaways, we are just starting to look at our finances after my husband recently switched jobs.)

  258. Oh and, I subscribe to you in Google Reader!

  259. we put a little away each payday, and what i get from working little side jobs here and there. this is our second christmas with a child, so we are still learning how to budget that season out!

  260. Angela Shrader says:

    I guess I’ll do what I’ve had to do ever since I can remember…..see how much money I have left after December’s bills are paid…..and try and find stuff that last week before Christmas :(…..I really dislike talking about Christmas in July even. I’m getting acid reflux thinking about it :(. But I went ahead and posted with hopes of winning. I would love to be able to implement this system.

  261. i subscribe in google reader.

  262. I am buying toy gifts ahead of time when they are on clearance. Target has great toy clearances in July! I hope to make some gifts this year to keep costs down.

  263. I already use an envelope system that I created, and put aside $15.00 a week for Christmas. But I would love to win. I have never read his book and would like it for my son who is in college.

  264. I am subscibed through google reader.

  265. We are neck deep in the Financial Peace University class via church right now. I think you are right, keep listening and reading to Dave, because sometimes getting that debt snowball rolling can be tiring and seem out of reach. We love DR though! For Christmas this year we have made it it’s own envelope/budget category. None like the present time to save. =) I am also trying to hit summer toy clearance and teach myself that lots of “stuff” under the tree isn’t what will be remembered by my 4 and 1 year olds.

  266. Jennifer says:

    I forgot Christmas! Guess I better get busy. I have read Dave’s book and try my best – I would love the envelope system – inspiration in any form is good!

  267. I buy gifts through the year on clearance or with coupons. So, by Christmas, I am usually finished shopping. I always save money by doing this. I pick up little gifts to keep in the closet for my son’s teachers and friends, also. It helps me.

  268. I pick up gifts all year long and make some things. My mom and I also do Black Friday, where I get great deals on the rest of the gifts I need to purchase. I need to start saving now, though!

  269. I subscribe in a reader.

  270. My husband and I are also big fans of Dave Ramsey! We try and set aside a little bit of money each month to go towards Christmas, and I also try and pick things up throughout the year so it isn’t such a big crunch in December.

  271. I also subscribe via Google Reader.

  272. This is a great giveaway! Thanks!

  273. Laurie L says:

    I start my shopping early so that I don’t have to spend as much closer to Christmas, but I do try to put aside at least a few dollars a month to help with all the little things that I wait until the last minute to buy. πŸ™‚

  274. I’m saving for Christmas with monthly budgeting using my envelopes!

  275. I subscribe to the email.

  276. We generally don’t have to save for Christmas- handmade gifts for family and friends, my husband and I have a rule where we only shop for each other at resales/buy used or give handmade gifts, and so that only leaves our son, for whom I shop sales throughout the year. It doesn’t hurt that he’s only five, so we can still buy used for him, plus he’s not very “commercial,” so we don’t have to worry about having the latest toy from the latest movie/TV show/whatever. Lastly, we make a Christmas list with him but it’s of the gifts we’re going to give to others. We don’t talk about what *we* want for Christmas.

  277. I subscribe! Love your blog!

  278. I have to admit that I really don’t budget for Christmas…here is how it happens. We use the “Extras” year-round toward presents. Gift cards that are won in giveaways or earned from Swagbucks and other programs are used, plus whenever I save money from one area of our budget each month I use it to buy a gift or two to put away for Christmas (or other occasions). I try to maintain a fully stocked gift closet.

    Also, I give A LOT of homemade goodies as Christmas presents. Just before Thanksgiving there are scads of sales on holidayish ingredients and I stock up each week. It is part of our grocery budget.


    ndisilvio @ gmail .com

  279. Stefanie says:

    I always leave everything till the last minute and then start to panic. So for this year we started a Christmas savings account in January and figured what we had just spent on Christmas 2009 and divided that amount into payments for throughout the year.

  280. Stefanie says:

    rss subscriber

  281. Man, my hubby are forever saying we need to get on the Ramsey train but never do! We sooooo need this book!

    I subscribe via Google Reader.


    ndisilvio @

  282. I just subscribed to your email feed…love reading your blog!

  283. Budgeting for Christmas- well at the moment there is no budget for Christmas- hubby lost his job this spring and his new job is much less pay. We’re still trying to figure out how to live on this…and resolved not to go into more debt!

  284. Your ideas were great. I plan to determine how much we want to spend at Christmas and then figure out how much we need to save each month until December!

  285. I’m saving for Christmas using an automatic payroll deduction that pays out in November. I’ve been deducting $20 per paycheck, so at payout time I should have $520. I’ve also started picking up ‘little’ things that are on sale with my ‘mad’ money.

  286. We are saving fifty dollars each payday from June to December. That is all we are spending on Christmas for our entire gift list. I have already started making homemade gifts. I like knowing that after Christmas I have no more debt then I did before. I have been wanting to read the Dave Ramsey book as I think it would be a great help to us.

  287. We’re beginning a major budget overhaul, out of a desire to live debt-free. I started working 3 days a week (just temporarily until we get out of debt), we sold one of our cars (thankfully, a family member sold us their old car for a very low price so I’d have a way to get to my new job!), and I’m starting couponing, among other money-saving strategies. All told, our monthly net income has increased by about $2000. We’re using the extra income to aggressively pay down our debt, and since Christmas always involves extra expense, I’m looking for great deals now and purchasing gifts when I see exceptional prices. By starting the gift-buying process early, we’re hoping there won’t be such a large impact to our budget at the end of the year!

  288. I subscribe with Google Reader – thank you for the giveaway!

  289. Well I just checked out the worksheet and am going to start adding in the monthly amount for Christmas. I’m so excited to pay off our debt I didn’t even think about planning for Christmas. God willing we will be debt free other then the car in December! However had I not read this now we may have been back in it in December! Thanks for the post you just saved my budget! Dave Ramsey rocks!

  290. I try to buy gifts throughout the year. I love your Christmas in July. It’s helping me to be a lot more focused this year.

  291. I’m a RSS Subscriber.

  292. Jennifer says:

    I have $20 from each paycheck (4 times a month – 2 for me – 2 for hubby) automatically transferred into another account. I also buy gift thru the year when I find stuff on clearance.

  293. I just started the total money makeover and am still trying to get a handle on the first couple of steps. Usually for Christmas we go overboard by a longshot. So hopefully this year we can plan a set amount for each person and not go over that. I also have a few good ideas for homemade gifts by the grandkids for the grandparents.

  294. Jennie Melvin says:

    I also love Dave Ramsey and listen to him whenever I can. We just started on baby step #2 and I would love to have one of his envelope systems. My way of budgeting for Christmas is that I have a small job that doesn’t earn much but I put it all into my Vacation/Christmas fund. The first 6 months of the year are for vacation and the last 6 months are for Christmas.
    Thank you.

  295. I am a full time chef and caterer, and have just started my Money Makeover. I budget a percentage out of each paycheck into my saving for Christmas envelope. To earn extra money for Christmas I have been working private events and doing personal catering outside of work. It has been great! I have been able to save above and beyond the small percentage, and have been paying off more debt. :0)

  296. We are members of our local credit union and utilize their Christmas Club account by payroll deduction. It also pays 3% interest and pays out on Oct. 1st.

  297. We already save some money for Christmas each month, but I am going to download your forms and plan more for our holiday than just the gifts. I hope to be a lot more stress-free by thinking about it all now! Thanks for all you do.

  298. I just subscribed via email and have been eyeing the wallet for months after reading Total $$ Makeover!

  299. Bianca W. says:

    I will sale items on Ebay. The money earned will be used for Christmas. I’m budgeting for $250, which includes gifts, items for a Christmas Eve gathering and Christmas dinner. Wish me luck.

  300. leigh ann says:

    My husband and I started the envelope system back in February and have been putting a little cash aside each month to cover Christmas expenses! Dave Ramsey has done so much for our family. We are now debt free, except our mortgage, and working toward fully funding our emergency fund! So grateful for financial freedom!

  301. hi!
    i just started reading the total money makeover and have started an envelope system. thanks for the worksheet! i love the wallet idea!

  302. subscribe via google reader

  303. Charlene says:

    I would benefit greatly from this, things are unsettled here for the present. May try to make some gifts and save money for the rest. Thank you.

  304. I buy Christmas presents throughout the year to help save money. I have already filled my daughter’s stocking and have my son’s half done.

  305. I already subscribe.

  306. After Christmas last year I set up a seperate ING account for the following Christmas. Each paycheck money is automatically deposited. It’s not a lot, but over 10 or 11 months, it will add up to be enough for us.

  307. Would love to win a copy of the book. Right now I am buying a lot fo gifts at yard sales & rummage sales. I also plan on (hopefully) canning stuff for presents this yr.

  308. I’m also a RSS subscriber

  309. I have started buying already and do a little bit each month!

  310. I buy gifts throughout the year so that I don’t have to do it all at once. This seems to help with the financial burden of the holidays.

  311. i have NO idea how I am going to save for Christmas $ we are really struggling to get a hold of our finances right now and often find ourselves asking “how did we get into this mess?” sigh….

  312. I’m so excited about this giveaway. I would LOVE to win a wallet. I have been wanting one for a long time, but have used what I have for now. For Christmas, I set up an ING account last year when they had an offer to get $25 free with a new account. I have set aside a certain amount each month and deposited it into my account. The great thing is, I have budgeted the money from my paycheck, but I’ve used money that I’ve earned making bows and I just fully funded both my Christmas acct. and tax acct. this month! I was so excited to have it done early!

    The great thing about the ING accounts are they are specific to my saving needs and they are completely out of sight, out of mind, unlike my debit card and cash. πŸ™‚

  313. Following both on Twitter! πŸ™‚

  314. Carri Siebenmark says:

    I am saving all the Target gift cards I get…(new prescriptions, sales, rewards from your debit card). I am trying to make gifts…starting my “Christmas in July”

  315. I subscribe to your site via Bloglines.

  316. I shop for Christmas throughout the whole year. It has been a rough couple of years for us so I have been trying to focus on purchasing a few quality gifts for my kid rather than quantity. I would love to win the book!

  317. Congratulations on completing baby step 2!

    My husband and I have completed step 1 and are working through step 2. We currently only owe for our mortgage and 1/2 of a vehicle:)

    For the past 15 years of our marriage, I’ve extensively used Quicken to track all of our expenses. Our Christmas budget is allotted (in Quicken) over several months–September through December. [For next year, I’ve allotted that same Christmas budget equally through every month of the year, though.] It’s such a relief to be on our way to financial peace!

  318. I’m a Google Reader subscriber. God bless you!

  319. Jennifer M says:

    I’ve actually started putting together a small christmas list for immediate family so that I can start preparing now. My husband and I have started putting a little money away as well. Hopefully we can stay on course!! :0

    I also subscribe via a rss reader!!

    I LOVE Dave Ramesy….I started using his envelope system too!

  320. Cindy G. says:

    Our family has a Christmas Club account that is taken out of my husband’s paycheck each month. Also, look for Christmas gifts all year long. Already have some gifts purchased or know what I want to make for a gift. Would love to win this giveaway to better our financial situation.

  321. I also buy gifts all year round. We only do 1 bigger gift for each of the kids and a few smaller items so typically do not spend much more than $150. As they get bigger this will surely get tougher.

    Great giveaway! I would love the book or organizer! I keep thinking I’ll check the library for the book but never remember once I get there. (which leads me back to needing an organizer)

  322. Cindy G. says:

    Just signed up for your email.

  323. Elizabeth says:

    My husband and I are putting away money every month to put into our Christmas gift budget!

  324. I subscribe in my RRS feed.

  325. As soon as I am finished purchasing all of our homeschooling curriculum, I will start putting cash in an envelope here and there for our Christmas fund. (Spring and Summer is for our curriculum fund.) It’s amazing how $10 here and $10 there adds up!

  326. We are working on our Total Money Makeover currently and so Christmas will be small this year. But I am watching for small things now that we can fit in our budget each month and will probably make some things for our kids too. We figure that the best gift we can give our kids right now is to be debt free.

  327. Awesome – we teach FPU at our church & so as you can imagine we have a monthly budget category for Xmas!

  328. I subscribe via RSS feed.

  329. I subscribe via email.

  330. Kimberly C. says:

    I just subscribed to receive your emails.

    And I’m incredibly happy I found you! There is fantastic info here & I could really use Dave Ramsey’s book & the envelope system. I have been telling hubby for YEARS we need to do it but he hasn’t been very receptive. He will be soon πŸ™‚

    Saving for Christmas…
    Well, every single year we have a plan & again, hubby doesn’t follow through. (he pays all the bills, etc. so he really needs to be involved!) I’m trying to figure something out & have been thinking of starting shopping now, which is tough with no $$, & also plan to put the envelopes in play so at least there’s something… Sigh… It’s tough this year.

  331. I’ve been buying presents on clearance all year so I won’t need to save for Christmas! It’s nice to know that I won’t have to fight the crowds OR get stuck with huge shopping bills!

  332. I subscribe in a reader!

  333. I try to shop ahead and buy from the clearance sections. Also I was under budget last year and kept the extra for this year.

  334. I’m going to use Swagbucks to save for Christmas. This is our first year with a baby and one income so I’m doing online stuff to fund Christmas this year.

  335. Lori Gearheart says:

    I’m subscribed via email & Facebook to Life as Mom and Love It!!!

  336. nanasewn says:

    I have already begun to get Christmas presents…free items, rebate items and making things. thank you for the opportunity to win.

  337. I slowly pick things up through the year as they fit in other areas of the budget, somehow it is easier to do $20 here or there and keep track of it than save up and spend a bunch in December, plus I hate the stores in December.

    This year I am making a list of books for children and things to make with what I have on hand, especially all my quilting scraps that are quite large.

    We usually use some of our discretionary fund in October and November to be honest now that I think about it, but we don’t buy for a whole lot of people either.

  338. Oh, and I am a blog subscriber via a reader too…

  339. Lori Gearheart says:

    We’ve got $50 every 2 weeks going into a Christmas Club account at our main bank and $250 going into another account every 2 weeks for our Home Equity Loan, which is going to be paid off this month so that money can be used for Christmas as well, since we will then be officially ‘Debt Free’. We don’t spend a lot on Christmas anyway, so we’ll probably ‘give’ ourselves the gift of a vacation with that money. Can’t wait!!! I pray I win the envelope system!

  340. We recently paid off over $30 thousand of debt! Our mortgage is our only debt. Used many of daves steps!! STill working on a more disciplined budget and envelope system. It is possible!

  341. Carmen Goddard says:

    I shop all year long also. I find good deals on Black Friday also. Thanks for this awesome giveaway. Carmen

  342. I would love to learn from him….we NEED it!!! We do have a Christmas club set up to help us have money set aside for christmas. Only problem is…I usually go a bit over it.

  343. Laura Manzano says:

    We actually start buying now. My husband is big on getting it done. I also put a little away each month for those last minute gifts so we don’t have to worry.

  344. I’ve never budgeted for Christmas before- we usually just put everything on credit cards, and rely on my husband’s end of year bonus to pay off the bill in January. But how nice would it be to be able to put that bonus money into savings, or use some of it for a family vacation? We are saving money starting in the fall by no longer paying preschool tuition (at least for a year until my next son starts preschool). My goal is to continue to set aside that same amount of money every month, to save a little each month for Christmas, some of it for a car payment (both of our cars are getting pretty old, so we’ll need to replace them soon when something goes wrong), and send some to savings.

  345. I subscribed via reader- would love to win the organizer!

  346. I’m a big budget shopper. I do really well at the holidays. We don’t save for it but we do decide who to buy for ahead of time. I follow many frugal blogs and was able to get some really great deals last year. Buying smart seems to be our best strategy but actually budgeting would be new for us.

  347. I follow both accounts on Twitter.

  348. I’m a subscriber

  349. I’ve already started shopping for Christmas this year, with my eyes on the sales. πŸ™‚ My plan is that by doing a little at a time, we won’t have to ‘save’ for Christmas, b/c it’s budgeted in, already. That’s the plan, anyway…

  350. I just subscribed via email and ‘liked’ your fb page, too. I love finding awesome sites like this!!

  351. We just started Dave Ramsey’s TMMO, sick of owing money to everyone and their brother… Anyway, when I stick money into our baby emergency fund, I stick just a little into a jar for Christmas too. Hopefully by the timeCchristmas gets here we’ll have a little stash going that I won’t feel bad about blowing on toys and whatnot for the kiddos.

  352. Kristine says:

    I need the money makeover!! We took a Dave Ramsey class in college but the weight of terrible paying jobs and student loans are killing us!

    I plan to save only $10 (all I can squeeze out of paychecks) Our gifts to our families this year are that we are able to come visit (6 hours away from each) and I’m going to try to do something homemade (with the toddler’s help-grandparents love that). And spliting the money we’ve saved for Christmas presents (just a few) for the toddler and for his birthday in Feburary

    Love this blog, learning so much about how to better manage everything in my life!

  353. We plan to pay cash for Christmas gifts this year by saving into our envelope system each month!

  354. Amanda Y. says:

    We buy gifts throughout the year instead of putting money aside, it’s simpler for us and more concrete and safer than cash (in our neighborhood, no way would keeping cash be safe). It’s also less stress at the holidays with very little shopping to do.

  355. Amanda Y. says:

    I’m an email subscriber

  356. I buy gifts all year and I do survey sites for extra cash. I also make a few gifts to cut down on the costs.

  357. Kristen Beecham says:

    I buy Christmas presents that I think people would like throughout the year when I find them on sale. I also try to keep in mind that its truly the thought that counts. Others may be financially able to spend more on gifts than my family can, but that’s okay.

  358. I have a special account set aside and transfer directly from my paycheck each month to save for Christmas.

  359. Kristen Beecham says:

    I subscribe.

  360. I’m an email subscriber πŸ™‚

  361. Michelle Z. says:

    My job is in merchandising, and just yesterday I picked up a new job. It’s only a few hours a week, but every dime from that particular job is going into my Christmas savings.

  362. First we need to decide how much we want to spend. In the past, we’ve never budgeted for the holidays and that leaves us with a horrifying credit card bill in January. Eek! Next we’ll set aside a montly payment into the holiday fund so we can pay cash for our gifts. I’ve read Dave’s book and am totally on-board with the envelope system. I would love to win it!

  363. Even though I check your site regulary, I’ve just signed up for the email updates. Pick me, pick me! πŸ™‚

  364. I subscribe to your blog via e-mail. Love your blog, by the way.

  365. We buy only for our children, and do a name draw with our extended family. We try and focus on what Christmas is really about.

  366. I love listening to Dave on the radio!
    I try and shop for christmas throughout the year. This does help sometimes when I can find really good deals.

  367. I’m an e-mail subscriber.

  368. I’m a subscriber.

  369. We never really budget for Christmas, but I am always on the look out for good deals. The other day I was watching Heidi with Shirley Temple and she got one present for Christmas. What a novel idea. We will more than likely scale down this year and maybe even give away more than we receive.

  370. We currently set aside a set amount each month to save for Christmas! This is our first year to do this (actually, it’s our first year to really stick to a budget consistently), so I’m excited to see how this goes. Although we tend to do Christmas on the frugal side, there’s always that guilt that you mentioned… not this year! The funds will be set aside!

  371. I pick things up during the year and save what I can. The rest we ususally put on credit cards. Every year I say we not going to do that again and every year we do it again.

  372. I subscribe by RSS feed

  373. I plan to make as many gifts as possible and I like to start to buy gifts in September as I see sales and good deals.

  374. I’m a happy subscriber!

  375. We save a little each month for Christmas. Also, I start shopping the deals right after the previous Christmas. I have already picked up 4 free my little ponies and 2 $3.00 barbies when there were coupons and great sales. I have two little girls so these are perfect. We keep it small too. We are planning one shared bigger gift for the playroom and these little gifts I have already purchased.

  376. Sheila Bailey says:

    My husband receives two extra checks a year so I will take a large amount out of one of them, place it in an envelope and use as needed.

  377. Sheila Bailey says:

    I’m a subscriber!

  378. We are moving to the envelope system starting August 1st! Whoop! Would love the fancy little envelope system wallet.
    One of the envelopes will be Christmas. And, I’m saving all the Amazon gift cards I’m earning through Swagbucks for Christmas presents too.

  379. I’m a subscriber.

  380. Mimi1214 says:

    I’m a subscriber to your blog via RSS.

    This year I’m starting a Christmas Club account for holiday shopping. I like to also have my gifts purchased before Thanksgiving because I have to ship many of them. For next year I’m going to start earlier with my club account so we could possibly visit family in NY for Thanksgiving, we live in FL.

  381. What an awesome giveaway! I am planning on making more gifts this year, and also not giving to EVERYONE! I want this Christmas to be happy, not stressful!

  382. I subscribe via google reader.

  383. I’m saving giftcards that I purchased with swagbucks to save for Christmas. Its such a lifesaver since we have suffered not one but TWO layoffs in the same year.

  384. I subscribe

  385. Elizabeth Rotering says:

    Honestly, I am feeling a bit lost and am not sure how we are going to save for Christmas!!
    I am sure hoping to win this giveaway!
    Blessings to you,

  386. This couldn’t be more timely! DH & I are in the throes of working out a budget and wishing we could find the time to attend a Financial Peace University class. Thank you for doing this Christmas in July series, it has given me the motivation to find a way to start setting money aside.

  387. I also subscribe via email…couldn’t live without it πŸ™‚

  388. I am an RSS subscriber.
    I love Dave Ramsey and I’m reading his book now. We’re just starting out with our “baby steps.”

  389. i tweeted

  390. Tara LaPierre says:

    I am saving for Christmas now, I buy stuff for people as I see them on sales and such and get them now and check them off my list so I dont accidentally buy again.

  391. I budget for christmas all year by including it in our gift category.

  392. I subscribe via email

  393. MichelleH says:

    I’m saving Target gift cards (received from GC with purchase) and Amazon GC (from Swagbucks). We put $20 per paycheck in a Christmas stash. I purchase gifts on deep sales throughout the year.

  394. MichelleH says:

    I’m an email subscriber.

  395. Jennifer says:

    I really have no idea how we will pay for Christmas this year. I lost my job due to health issues and we got our first 2 grandbabies this year. I own his book I guess I need to read it. I’m very interested in learning about the envelope idea!

  396. So glad you brought this up as I was not even thinking about it. I still have time now to squirrel away a little money each week as well as looking for good buys now THANKS!

  397. We set a bit of money aside after income tax refunds and gst returns. We like to set aside about $1000, and we don’t go crazy with food etc.

  398. I’m a subscriber!!

  399. We will be making a Christmas budget for the first time this year and will not be traveling as much this year since we have a LO due in October.

  400. Christine says:

    I’m using only dollar bills for purchases and saving all my change!

  401. I follow your emails and look forward to them everyday! They are the last thing I read at night before I go to bed. Thanks for your hard work!

  402. Rochelle says:

    I don’t really “save” for christmas. I like to make a list at the beginning of the year and work to buy presents all year long, a little at a time while they are on sale

  403. Rochelle says:

    I do subscribe via email

  404. We budget a monthly amount each month for gifts throughout the year, including Christmas.

  405. Gwendolyn says:

    We have a Christmas Club account at our bank that we put money into it every pay period. In November we receive a check. After saving all year it is hard to spend all that money so the majority of it goes into our regular saving account. I usually shop year round for Christmas present (Sales!!!). We have discovered family time is the best way to spend Christmas.
    Another tradition in our family is Operation Chrismas Child. I hope to pack 15 boxes this year for very little money. Sales & CVS helps with this.

  406. Budget for Christmas…well I get reimbursed for mileage for a class I give each week. This is in addition to our regular budget. I plan to save part of this money for Christmas.

  407. I follow in google reader

  408. Rochelle says:

    I have tweeted confusednow1980

  409. Michelle says:

    I’ve been putting money away in a Christmas gift fund since June, so I have the money for all the gifts I’ll buy already taken care of!

  410. Michelle says:

    I’m also a subscriber.

  411. Michelle says:

    I have been saving for Christmas using a paper envelope system since June!! I just take cash out weekly and pop it in the envelope. I would LOVE a wallet system or the book.

  412. Michelle says:

    I subscribe to LifeAsMom through my google reader πŸ™‚

  413. I subscribe.

  414. WOW!!! What a blessing!! My son was able to take the teen class this past year and it has changed his life…. This would be a great book for all of us to read this school year.

  415. I have started to plan for christmas and I think that in itself will save us money. I’d love to be entered for the wallet since we already have the book. Dave Ramsey has helped us put close to 6 figures onto debt in the last year. We truly are thankful for his principles.

  416. I subscribe using Google Reader.

  417. After my son’s June birthday, we start making out the Christmas lists. Each child receives 3 gifts. We start looking for good deals and buying their presents early. For the rest of the family, we look for things we can make and give away as gifts. During the Christmas season, we focus on the true meaning of Christmas and Family time.

  418. Thank you for the opportunity. We plan ahead, make a list, set a budget, put aside a little every month and shop for gifts throughout the year.

  419. One way I’m saving is making more things.

  420. I subscribe in reader

  421. I subscribe! Love your site. Thanks for the giveaway!

  422. We set aside a certain amount each month earmarked for Christmas. So, when the time comes, we are set!

  423. I am planning on saving for christmas by not using ANY of my swagbucks points and saving $35.00 a month. I have a small family so this should fit the needs without breaking the bank!

  424. I plan to save for Christmas by putting away $20 a paycheck from now until Novemeber.

  425. i subscribe by email

  426. Candice Storm says:

    My husband and I were just talking last night about saving for Christmas. We will be beginning with the next paycheck putting money away to begin saving and also start shopping early. I always do everything at the last minute and drive myself insane!

  427. Candice Storm says:

    I am an email subscriber.

  428. Jennifer P says:

    I’m a subscriber and love it!

    I already have a copy of Dave’s book, but I could definitely use a envelope system. My husband and I are working to pay off my student loan debt and learning to use a budget.

  429. Thanks for this giveaway! It would be such a blessing to my husband and me as we struggle to pay off debt from unexpected medical bills and a huge loss on our home sale!!

    Saving for christmas….I started shopping winter clothes sales in early Spring, finding amazing deals on gorgeous coats for college bound sisters!

  430. We have a set amount for each person- and we have a category for Christmas in our monthly budget.

  431. I’m an email subscriber.

  432. We are using any extra money from overtime into our Christmas envelope. I have a budget and idea for every person and some gifts this year will be homemade.

  433. Adrienne says:

    Save? Uh, I guess I have cut back on how many gifts I give.

  434. Christine says:

    I have started reading Dave Ramsey’s book and love it. I have started the envelope system, but still need to refine it some. My little white envelopes are stacked in my desk drawer. Using a wallet designed for that purpose would be great. We put $40 a month away for Christmas. We will spend less this year than we have in the past, but I believe it will hope us focus more on Christ and less on the materialism.

  435. I subscribe to you via email πŸ™‚

  436. Mary Smith says:

    I’m trying to save a little out of every pay check but hubby still don’t have a clue when it come’s to a budget. What ever I have put back by Christmas will be what we spend since I cut up our credit card’s and closed all of the account’s.

  437. Mary Smith says:

    I subscribe via email.

  438. i subscribe by email

  439. Mrs. Doom says:

    I just read Dave Ramsey’s book and have created a budget with Christmas being one of the categories. Christmas will be small this year. I hope to be debt free by the end of next year. I will be following Dave’s Baby Steps. I am going to start using cash something that scares me, but should be fun to try.

  440. Kiersten says:

    I subscribe :~)

  441. Kiersten says:

    We’re saving the old fashioned way… little by little in our top dresser drawer! Sad I know but it is what is working for us this year. :~)

  442. I’m going to only give gifts that are necessities – no frivolous gifts.

  443. usually i wait until i receive my Christmas bonus to go shopping. that extra wad of cash in my pocket provides the strength to get me in and out of the stores much quicker and with a smile on my face knowing Christmas is saved.
    but in this economy, i can’t keep hoping and praying that the bonus will be just as grand as last year’s. so this year, i’m budgeting now. i’ve already completed my list of family/friends and amounts per person i’m willing to spend.
    and as of yesterday, i have purchased three $25 gift certificates from for $2 each. that’s three gifts i don’t have to worry about getting last minute for the parents, in-laws, and siblings!
    i’ve also purchased extra knick-knacks here and there with the coupons i’ve clipped from toys r’ us and walmart.
    i have to say i’m pretty proud of myself for working up a budget and list so early in the year.
    my plan this year is to be completed with shopping by December 1 and use my bonus to pay off any lingering debt.

  444. another note: i subscribe!
    (it would be a blessing to receive the book and learn the fundamentals of how to dig myself out of debt.)

  445. Christina says:

    I have taken extra jobs to save money for Christmas and I also plan to start shopping now when I find the best deals on items.

  446. Christina says:

    I subscribe via email.

  447. I have been putting money in my “Christmas” envelope on the first of each month. I hide the envelope in a seldom used drawer so that I’m not tempted to dip into it through the year.

  448. I put $25 from every paycheck into a savings account. I usually don’t miss it at the time, but I certainly appreciate it come December!

  449. Jennifer Foutch says:

    I am going to try to give more homemade gifts this year.

  450. I am saving by buying things that would make great gifts when I see the prices slashed all year and not just during the holiday rush.

  451. I subscribe via email!

  452. Patricia Mancuso says:

    We are in the process of setting up a budget. We are making ALOT of changes with our spending habits. Christmas will be kinda tight this year.

  453. I subscribe via google reader. Thanks!

  454. Stacia J says:

    We LOVE Dave Ramsey!! We facilitate his workshops at our church a couple times a year. To help pay for Christmas this year, we started a Christmas Club acct at our bank; the money is directly deposited from my husband’s paycheck in a seperate acct. What we don’t see, we don’t miss!!! I’ve also been picking up great deals throughout the year to save for Christmas.

  455. Stacia J says:

    I follow both you and Dave’s Show on Twitter πŸ™‚


  456. Stacia J says:

    I’m subscribed to your blog through email. We use the envelope system with regular envelopes. Would love to win a really nice system!!!!

  457. Making my Christmas lists and budget now. Planning to put money aside for the next few months to be ready for the holidays. Also have already been shopping the clearance racks for my kids christmas gifts and stockings.

  458. mELISSA MARTINEZ says:

    actually we have started saving coins in a plastic jar. believe it or not you do get some good lump of money.

  459. I subscribe to your email feed!

  460. I save for Christmas by buying cheap toys and gifts all year long on clearance.

  461. I subscribe via email to your blog.

  462. Saving a little each month.

  463. Email subscriber.

  464. Our family adopted a “no gifts for adults” theme for the holiday season and it is wonderful! Since we only have 6 children in our family to buy gifts for, I stock up on clearance items throughout the year. Then, when the holiday toy deals come around, I only have to get a couple things and we are set.

  465. Katie Wagner says:

    We are saving a little at a time and also giving smaller amounts. Also making some home made gifts like gift baskets. πŸ™‚ Email subscriber.

  466. I follow and tweeted:

  467. We have put away a little each month to save for christmas, plus we buy gifts now when we find a good deal!

  468. I subscribe to your RSS feed!

  469. We set aside a portion of our tax return each year to cover the upcoming Christmas expenses. That sits in our saving account until late summer when we begin making purchases. Each person has a limit. When the money is gone, we are done shopping!

  470. We’ve been saving each month since last Christmas and we almost have enough for the Christmas trip that we are taking to Disneyworld all the way from Boston!!

  471. I also subscribe by email!

  472. I subscrib via email.

  473. I work in an office part-time and I have a Wildtree direct sales business. All the money I make from my Wildtree business is for our Christmas fund and any extras during the year. Our house and 2 vehicles are paid for leaving only 1 car with 2 payments left. Christmas will be a breeze next year.

  474. We have been doing baby steps to FPU for about 3 years and have paid off all debt except 1 student loan and were able to purchase our first home as well as buy a bigger vehicle ( we just had our 3rd baby) and pay cash for it! God is good all the time and we would love a copy of his book.

  475. I have money transferred out of each check into a savings account that I then use for Christmas.

  476. I also subscribe through RSS.

  477. We plan to save more money for Christmas (and in general) by eating out LESS and saving even more on groceries.

  478. I put $$ away each week for Christmas

  479. Followin’ and Tweetin’ @TotallyTember.

  480. I subscribe by email.

  481. I’m an email subscriber.

  482. I save for Christmas through a direct deposit into my Christmas Club Account at my credit union.

  483. I subscribe via email.

  484. We save back for Christmas each month (along with other set-back items) in our “freedom account” – a seperate checking account that we have.

  485. I subscribe via email.

  486. We have really not had anything to set aside for Christmas. I’ll be making this years Christmas gifts.

    We had thought about using our stockpile of toothbrushes, toothpastes, deodrant, etc for a nice gift basket but hubby didnt think it was a good idea since a lot of sensitive skin and need certain things.

    I’m hoping (cross fingers, ankles and toes) that I can sew enough table runners/wall quilts/ potholders/ anything that can be sewn for my family.

    A couple years ago I did pj pants for the boys and skirts/dresses for the girls… but that took FOREVER and I just couldnt enjoy Christmas season as much. Loved their faces but I was on so little sleep I was zonked taht whole season. No, not doing that agin. I have 26 neices and nephews… (from my in-law side) yeah. *yawn* not even including my siblings (being the eldest at 22yrs I dont have any on my side yet…)

  487. I am a emailed subscriber.

  488. I just became a google subscriber and we buy a little along for Christmas.

  489. I tweeted at jhteacher45.

  490. This year I am getting presents over the course of the 5 months left till Christmas. Our budget is usually between $50.00-$100.00 per kid and we have four. The reason it is so high is because they are all teens/young adults and honestly the things they want and even need for college cost more. I have using my Swagbuck Account a lot and I am planning on getting Amazon Gift Cards through there.
    BTW, I love Dave Ramsey but do not have any of his books. My husband is in the process of trying to buy his own business, so this will come in handy. Thanks for the chance to win!! :o)

  491. I tweeted about this and I was already a follower, but became on to Dave Ramsey.


  492. We put aside money from each paycheck into an account designated for holiday spending.

  493. Oh boy…I’m in trouble! I haven’t given much thought to Christmas yet, even while reading your posts! What does Dave’s book say about spending the savings on Christmas shopping?

    Looks like I should really have the book! πŸ˜‰

  494. I also just subscribed via email.

  495. I start the day after Christmas getting ready for next year.I have learned to try to have my shopping done before November.

  496. I subscribe by email.

  497. We are starting to put aside money each month for Christmas


  498. Michelle Leichty says:

    I subscribe via google reader! I absolutely love you Blog!

  499. I’ve been a Dave Ramsey disciple for years now. I listen every day and came acrossed your blog’s giveaway and knew that I would want to be a subscriber. I’m hoping this is sufficient for entry into your contest.

    As far as ways I stretch my dollar, each month, I look through my spending and look for ways to spend less. It’s amazing how many expenses we incur that really don’t provide us any direct return!

    Keep up the excellent work!

  500. We are saving for Christmas this year by not even buying our kids gifts, and by teaching them the values of giving instead. We have not bought our kids any Christmas gifts for the past 3 years and it doesn’t bother them. They get plenty of gifts from grandparents anyways.

  501. MamaCarole says:

    I’m a subscriber.


  502. MamaCarole says:

    I’m buying yarns and materials on sale now so my kids can crochet and sew presents in August.

  503. Maureen Messersmith says:

    We started a Christmas club account in January. But this year we are going to make a list and stick to it with just the amount of money we have. I have been using coupons and trying to save money and looking for good deals, so I dont’ want to blow everything during the Holidays! And hopefully we can start the envelope system. Setting Goals will be new to us!

  504. We have some money put away in a money market for Christmas. Would love to win the book!

  505. I am going to start buying Christmas gifts now to avoid the big hit to our schedule and expenses in November and December!

  506. I am subscribed to get your e-mails.

  507. We have begun saving for Christmas and have bought a couple of gifts all ready. We want to have our celebrations focused more on the real reason for the season!

  508. Karen P. says:

    This would be so handy right now, as I am on a cash only budget. We will do a very small, if any Christmas this year. We only do gifts every other year with my family, the other year we take our christmas money & get a cabin to spend family time together at.

  509. Karen P. says:

    I subscribe by google reader!

  510. hmmm…saving money for Christmas…does buying as many gifts as possible cheap within my budget now and using my husband’s year end longevity check for the rest count?

  511. We put away a little bit of money every month throughout the year to use for Christmas gifts.

  512. we’ve started saving for christmas by budgeting for gifts at the beginning of the year. now i’m inspired to save for a tree, wrapping paper, etc. thanks!

  513. i follow the dave ramsey show & you on twitter, and tweeted

  514. i subscribe to your blog on rss

  515. Thank you so much for hosting this giveaway. I have heard awesome things about Dave Ramsey’s program and can’t wait to et started! I would love to begin to save for Christmas now but have to get debt paid as well. I guess the book would help! He, he

  516. Lea Stormhammer says:

    Okay – so I don’t really have a Christmas budget but I don’t think we’re spending much on Christmas either. Here’s why:

    This year, inspired by The Prudent Homemaker’s guest post about a zero budget Christmas last year (2009), I made up a list of things I could make from things I have here at home and started making them back in January. Since I have most things I’ll need through that, I’m having some of my Swagbucks Gift Cards for the ‘extra’ things I need. I also have $100 cash stashed away for a gift card to the school supply store for the two teachers we have ($50 each).

    I’m really enjoying making Christmas really affordable this year!
    Thanks for hosting this giveaway!

    PS And congrats on paying off so much debt! Whoo hoo!

  517. Malisa P. says:

    We have been doing Financial Peace for about 2 years and begin saving for Christmas in January. This is a great idea to have everyone think about Christmas in July, when it can easily slip our minds.

  518. Malisa P. says:

    I subscribe to your Newsletter/E-mails.

  519. Elizabeth Sue says:

    I started my Christmas shopping this year very early, as in around New Years day early. That has helped me a lot b/c when Christmas comes we we only have to shop for our little girl and have everyone else in our family covered.

  520. I started Jan. of last year putting money aside in a savings account that I physically have to go into the bank to get at. This has forced me to save so I don’t repeat getting into debt like we did that year.

  521. I am a subscriber as well in google reader. Thanks

  522. In order to save on Christmas I’ve been buying throughout the year. I started in Jan. pick up things on great sales or clearance. Plus we put a price amount per person and child and draw names.

  523. I follow both on Twitter- @jennaod

  524. I subscribe to your daily emails!

  525. I have a great “gift closet” that I add to each month when I find clearance deals or great specials. It makes the holidays so much easyier when I can “shop at home” in my gift closet instead of hitting the stores.

  526. I also am a new subscriber to your blog and now one of the first ones I read everyday. Thanks for all the work you put into this blog, I LOVE IT!!!!

  527. Stephanie says:

    We stretch our Christmas budget by shopping clearance and thrift store deals throughout the year. We also don’t go overboard on buying for the kids or each other. Our kids have wanted a Nintendo DS for over a year, and we’ve been fine with telling them no (we have a Wii so they are not deprived). We also have worked with our children throughout the years to be happy with whatever they are given–from us as well as other family members. Because of this attitude, they don’t expect the big “wow” gifts and are pleasantly surprised and grateful for all their presents, big and small.

  528. Stephanie says:

    I subscribe via reader.

  529. Stephanie says:


  530. I haven’t thought much about it, but usually I try to find good deals at stores. Not always possible, but it helps!

  531. April B. says:

    I subscribe vial email!

  532. We set aside money each month and add it to our “Christmas fund”. Also, I look for gifts throughout the year and try to find things on sale/clearance.

  533. We set a budget and stick to it. We also draw names so we don’t have so many people to buy for. I look for good deals during the year.

  534. I ran across your blog several weeks when hoping to reorganize my life and spend less time in the kitchen each night and more time with my kids. I recently quit a part-time job and am trying to re-work our budget to remain at home. I was looking into Dave Ramsey’s advice and was so excited to see him referenced on your blog. Thank you for getting me ‘on track’!

  535. Heather Abbott says:

    We just got an unexpected bonus this month that helped pay off some remaining debt (we’re below $5000 – started at above $15,000 a year ago) So continuing to plug away at that and pick up gifts on sale throughout the year (like school supplies now that we put in Operation Christmas Child boxes, etc.) We also plan to go simplier each year – last year our kids got very few “new” gifts, they were all used, recycled, etc. and it was a huge hit. I plan to continue that idea, but on a larger scale.

  536. Three of our children take Tae Kwon Do and our contract is up in September. We’re going to take a break until January and use the monthly fee money and testing fee money to help with Christmas.

  537. We have lived by Dave Ramsey’s method for over 5 years and are so grateful to be in the financial position that we are even though we have a meager income. We stick a certain amount in an envelope marked Christmas every month just like you guys! I still use bank envelopes but would love to use one of those envelope wallets.

  538. Amy Snell says:

    By God’s grace, we have been saving $40 every month since January to go toward Christmas, so we already have $280. But aside from that, I have been buying gifts I see for at least 50% off at Target, and I have been buying stocking stuffers as I see them go on sale or clearance!

  539. I just started his book from the library – can’t afford to purchase the book until I dig myself out…. For Christmas this year we are limiting the gifts to 4 for each kid:
    * Gift of Love (something homemade)
    * Gift of Warmth
    * Gift of Knowledge
    * Gift of Joy (something on their list)
    As far as saving now, I am adding it to our budget and shopping the toy sales and back to school sales NOW (when it is warm…)

  540. I am also a RSS subscriber πŸ™‚

  541. I love you blog and I love Dave Ramsey too! I’ve been doing Swagbucks to help offset some Christmas spending.

  542. I subscribe via Google Reader.

  543. We are using Quicken to track our monthly spending/saving. Hopefully this will help keep us on track for Christmas.

  544. Jane Logan says:

    Hi, love your blog and I have just finished reading Total Money Makeover! This year I am setting a budget for Christmas and I have even started buying a few specific gifts on sale as I see them and of course only paying cash! Thanks for all the great tips! PS I am in Australia – so I understand if you can’t send a prize my way.

  545. We have a Christmas fund and we add money to it monthly also I look for deals throughout the year. We also draw names so that we don’t have as many gifts to buy.

  546. This year we started setting aside money each month (since Jan) in an online checking account. We haven’t even thought about it, and there will be more than enough to fund Christmas, and have some leftover. What a blessing!

  547. Just subsribed to email feed as well! Thank you for being such a blessing to so many!

  548. We’ve been agressively paying down our mortgage this year and I don’t want to take away from that. There also isn’t much left in our budget after the extra mortgage payments. My husband gets paid every 2 weeks, but I only budget for 2 paychecks a month. This way twice a year we end up with an ‘extra’ paycheck. We talked about it and decided that this year we’re going to use what we need from that paycheck to pay for Christmas. That should more than take care of what we want to budget for Christmas this year. Next year I plan on trying to adjust the budget to better account for this…

  549. I subscribe via email

  550. I really don’t have a method for saving for Christmas. I was hoping to win this book so Dave could help me out! πŸ™‚

  551. Kimberly says:

    We know what our Christmas budget will be and have a savings account that we deposit into each month. It’s painless and the money is there when I’m ready to start Christmas shopping.
    Thanks for the chance to win!

  552. Kimberly says:

    I’m an email subscriber!

  553. I budget for Christmas by putting away a certain amount of money ($30 this year) from each paycheck starting in August every year. We also keep Christmas affordable by shopping at the dollar store–you can find great deals on coloring books and craft supplies at our dollar store. Another thing we do is lots of online shopping–well in advance to allow time for the cheapest (hopefully free!) shipping. Hope that helps!

  554. I also subscribe through Google Reader. πŸ™‚

  555. My plan is to buy a few gifts every payday. That way I won’t miss it and the shopping will be done without having to spend so much extra time on it.

  556. email subscriber

  557. Crystal Hankey says:

    Our Christmas is a pay as you go. I always start early in the year. This year I got a late start in June. I don’t know why but June/ July months are when I get the Christmas bug. I read past articles for new ideas, start looking for the good deals and ALWAYS have a list to work from. I also write out my Christmas plan and of course do alot of Christmas Dreaming. I have read this book but would love to win a Designer Envelope system wallet. My envelopes get pretty ratty. LOL

  558. We save for Christmas by not cahsing in medical reimbursement until the end of the year. We also try to shop throughout the year and watch for sales.

  559. I’m planning on saving for Christmas by trying to pick up gifts now at garage sales for my Children, and set back money from my own little business we can use so we don’t have to touch our main income.

  560. Tammy Rinehart says:

    I am an email subscriber and FB friend. I love you blog it is helpful.

  561. We start buying early and also do a lot of homemade gifts… We have two savings, one for emergencies and one for things such as a new fridge, presents etc

  562. Sara Hughes says:

    We are Jehovah’s Witnesses, and we dont celebrate Christmas. But we are learning to budget and working on a savings account for our children to cover preschool, ballet, gymnastics, and music classes.

  563. Sara Hughes says:

    I subscribed by email πŸ™‚

  564. Kim in AZ says:

    I plan to save for Christmas this year by adding some work to my schedule. I’m a stay at home momma but plan on substitute teaching on some of the days dh is home from work to stash some cash for Christmas. There’s no other way to stash from our budget as new job is a downsize on our former income – but it is a job so no complaints here. πŸ™‚ I’d love to read Dave’s book and get some further frugal tips.

  565. We put aside $50 per month into the Christmas fund… but just welcomed our first child into the world, so have temporarily stopped that fund to save up cash while I’m on maternity leave.
    We spend the money throughout the year as we find gifts that will work for family members (such as at the annual art festival) and store the gifts in a closet.
    To figure out how much to save, we listed all the people we anticipate getting presents for (parents, siblings, grandparents, each other) and then determine an average amount for each person (we estimate about $30). Then, if I find a great deal on something that my sister will love, I can spend a little more on someone else’s gift.

  566. I save swagbucks and mypoints for my husband’s stocking stuffers. We make a list of everyone and then ball park out what we want to spend. I usually have a gift/budget list fully in place by Black Friday weekend. Then we analyze where we are financially/what our tech needs are 2 figure out the budget on our gifts. We always have a set aside amount but there have been big years where we have gotten a special gift because it was in the separate budget.

  567. I subscribe in my Google reader!

  568. I’m saving up Amazon cards earned through SwagBucks, plus buying gifts starting *now* rather than trying to do it all in December–hopefully it’s less stressful on the end-of-the-year budget than flying by the seat of my pants like last year!

    Plus, my husband and I just had our first baby, so we’ll likely be framing some high-quality photos for the first-time grandparents. Because, really, would they want anything else?

  569. Tara Laxson says:

    We live on my husband’s income and I have recently gone back to work very part time. We are splitting my income between emergency savings and our Christmas Fund. P.S. I loved the Holiday Budget/To Do List!

  570. Tara Laxson says:

    I subscribe via email!

  571. Joanna R says:

    I save all the gift cards I get with swagbucks πŸ™‚

  572. Joanna R says:

    email subscriber

  573. I put a little money each money to have enough.

  574. I am a subscriber, please pick me!

  575. Winning this would be such a blessing. When our son was born, everything that could go wrong for us financially, DID. And we went from having a 0 balance credit card, to racking up a tidy sum that we cant seem to diminish, even a year later. I hear all these great things about this guy, but his lessons are expensive, just what we cant afford. I would love to win and get us back on track.

  576. Whoops, I realized that I didnt indicate how we plan to save for Xmas. I have been couponing like mad for the last year, and have saved us quite a bit. I think putting that savings aside is going to be our way of financing the holiday. But you are right, Christ IS the reason for the season.

  577. I subscribe to your feed via rss.

  578. Oh my GOODNESS we could use any of these prizes!! Christmas- I start shopping for bargains as soon as Xmas is over. For example, I already have all of our teacher/Sunday School/etc. gifts- candle sets bought in January. I make some gifts too and keep a file of good possibilities. I like to make jam and other food gifts too, and I make these as soon as I can in the year (canning jars in summer, baked goods in early Fall and then freeze). I also have a (Word file) list drawn up so I know what I’ve made/bought for who, and I keep them so I know what I gave previously.

  579. I subscribe to you via e-mail.

  580. I have you on my Google Reader!

  581. The designer envelope system just might convince me! The thought of carrying cash in a flimsy envelope scares me!

  582. I am an email subscriber. πŸ˜‰

  583. I subscribe by email.

  584. I would love to win one of the envelope systems but the book would make a great present (since I already have one.) Either way, it’s a WIN!

  585. I follow both and tweeted from @PennyBlessed.

  586. I plan to save for Christmas by earning money or gift cards from surveys.

  587. Subscribe by email…love Dave Ramsey. Trying to spend EVEN LESS on groceries to save for Christmas this year as it’s our only option…but it is doable.

  588. Since we had to pay for braces for both of our kids this year I have really been paying attention to where we are spending money. I’ve already begun making gifts to help ease up the Christmas money drain.

  589. I subscribe in Google Reader.

  590. I buy a little here and there throughout the year. This year I plan to make many gifts.

  591. I follow you in a reader

  592. I follow you thru email

  593. We are hoping to start doing more of the cash system (I am already doing it for groceries only) so I hope to start putting money aside for Christmas. As well as start making gifts early. I already have some homemade vanilla in the basement that will be ready right before Christmas.

  594. We started putting money into a savings account for Christmas starting in January. I took what we spent last year on Christmas and divided by twelve and transfer the funds monthly. I also have started a list of ideas for gifts and am saving up Amazon gift cards from Swagbucks to help with the Christmas budget. All I want for Christmas this year is to be debt free and to be able to call Dave and tell him so!

  595. Tweeted!

  596. I follow thru email!

  597. I don’t know that this is really “saving”, but I have already begun Christmas shopping. I keep an eye out for deals and begin my Christmas shopping REALLY early. I do this for all occasions. I always have birthday presents and everything purchased months in advance. When there is a big purchase coming up (like the $200 toolbox I plan to get for my husband) I do factor that into our bi-weekly budget & save $10-20 each paycheck until I have enough to make the big purchase, but as far as general presents for the 20+ cousins etc I make purchases throughout the year and put them in my stock pile for easy gift-giving later.

  598. Follow thru email!

  599. I’d love to win! We huge Dave Ramsey fans, and debt free, too! You go, girl πŸ™‚ So happy for you!

  600. I subscribe via RSS.

  601. I’m not sure how we’ll save for Christmas. I need to rework a budget. We’ve been pulling money out of savings, so I’m not even sure what a reasonable Christmas budget is for us.

  602. I also subscribe through google reader.

  603. now that my husband finally got a new job after 15 of being laid off, we are trying to revamp our budget and save again. With 5 kids we are trying to shop now for clearance items and other things that would make great Christmas gifts!

  604. We set aside some savings each month and add money from any side job income and rebate money.

  605. I have started looking for good freebies and deals to stock up on some gifts for the kids early. My goal is a present or two each month per child and then when Christmas comes it won’t be a big deal.

  606. I’ve seen Dave on Fox and would love to know more. We are paying on hospital bills (hubby didn’t have insurance) so I am open to ALL ideas about budgeting.

    I’ve subscribed via email.

  607. I just subscribed via email.

  608. i try to buy a little bit for Christmas each month – which means I can USUALLY find most things on sale!

  609. I am saving a little each month, saving my rebate & gift card money, and buying gifts on super sale during the summer clearances.

  610. I subscribe via e-mail

  611. Kim James says:

    I have been getting $10 Walmart gift cards everytime I do grocery shopping so that by the time Christmas comes I can have enough to buy gifts. As my grandmother always says, if Walmart doesn’t have it then I don’t need it!;)

  612. i plan on using what i got! since i have so much fabric at home, i plan on making pj bottoms for all of the cousins. i did this one year and didn’t think they liked it as it wasn’t a toy. then i didn’t make any the following 3 years and all of the parents said that was the best gift ever and all of the kids told me that they loved them because they were so soft. i found out later on that they were still wearing them even though they were too short. so after 4 years of taking a break, i am firing up my machine once again. this will save us about $15 (there are about 15 kids) for each child and will be much more than some toy! i also found some plain long sleeve t-shirts from old navy that will pair up the bottoms with. for the older relatives, something baked probably. i am so excited and better get to work!

  613. We’re saving for Christmas by routing my small (8-10 hours per week) paycheck into a savings account. THis account pays for our modest vacation and Christmas. In the past, we relied on year end bonuses and such, but that is problematic since we’re spending money that isn’t yet there. So, we’ve made the switch and are planning ahead.

    Like others, we also shop ahead, but items on clearance or at a good value, make homemade gifts when possible, and are stockpiling our Amazon giftcards from Swagbucks.

  614. Homemade gifts. Scrapbooks or calendars for family.

  615. I am saving all my swag bucks and other income from surveys. They keep growing slowly. Also I am starting to search for gifts on sale to keep the cost down.

  616. Maggielou says:

    I would love to be in the Dave Ramsey giveaway. I will be starting to save money and also making presents in August. My mother has requested a mostly homemade Christmas, so we are going to try to honor her wishes, while keeping spening to a minimum.

  617. Tessa B. says:

    we are saving our swagbucks and other amazon gift cards i’ve earned taking surveys to use for Christmas this year. otherwise, we are using cash.

  618. Tessa B. says:

    i subscribe via reader.

  619. How we are saving for Christmas – being vigilant with the dollars we spend and the # of gifts we include. And this year, we will likely be emailing family to explain with my husband not receiving financial aid this school year, that travel is out and gifts will have to wait for better times.

  620. I signed up today to subscribe via email

  621. I’ve been a fan of Dave’s for a while. We have a gift category set up in to our budget. We’re doing the Baby Steps!

  622. We only buy gifts for our child. We both come from large families, so we make gifts for everyone else or do family-style gifts.

  623. I subscribe to your blog.

  624. We took some of our tax return and put it into our ING account for Christmas. It allows us to receive a higher yield than most savings accounts thus, earning a few extra bucks!

  625. I subscribe to your website! I LOVE it!!!

  626. My hubby usually works so overtime to pay for Christmas.

  627. I seriously hadn’t given much thought to Christmas yet. The typical plan is spending the extra money we have in Nov and Dec and trying to avoid the credit cards, although it can be difficult having my kids birthdays in Dec, Jan, and Feb. My husband and I recently attended a budgeting class inspired by Dave Ramsey and have been talking about working to get out of debt and to incorporate the envelope system, but so far it is just talk, I would love to have to tools to help us move forward with this.

  628. Jaclyn F. says:

    I hope to take a few dollars from each paycheck that my husband brings home so that my children have something under the tree this year.

  629. Jaclyn F. says:

    I follow RamseyShow on Twitter as jacmomof5

  630. Jaclyn F. says:

    I follow FishMom on Twitter as jacmomof5

  631. Jaclyn F. says:

    I subscribe to LifeasMom via Google Reader

  632. Tabitha K says:

    We aren’t very good at saving for Christmas this would help extremely!

  633. I save for Christmas throughout the year using Mvelopes software…it’s like paper envelopes, only online.

  634. Thanks for the giveaway! I try to save by stocking up on little things all year (like homemade blueberry jam!)

  635. I follow you and subscribe! Thanks!

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