Enemy Of Debt Christmas Challenge #2 – “Help Your Neighbor” Christmas Stimulus


A Debt Free Christmas Is A Stress Free Christmas

The first challenge I put out there was to make it through this Christmas WITHOUT accumulating ANY debt at all.  That’s right, a NO credit card Christmas.  I received such a great response to that post I wanted to step it up a notch.  I will be posting updates to allow everyone to share their debt free Christmas goals starting next month.  Start thinking about how much you want to spend this year and make a plan to start saving that goal amount.  No debt this Christmas!  You can do it!

When I wrote the last two Christmas posts it really got me thinking about how much I dislike what Christmas has turned into over the years.  Marketing has really been effective in making us believe that love is in the stuff we receive from others.  I love Christmas!  I think it is such a wonderful time of year.  Let’s make it more meaningful for those around us this year.

Christmas Stimulus 2009

We are all experiencing the down side to our current economic situation.  Washington has declared themselves our savior but I think we are more capable of having an impact privately.  Let’s do something BOLD!  Let’s put together our own Christmas Stimulus Package and really have an impact.

Not only should you have a debt free Christmas, but you should try something else very different this year.  Challenge #2 is to pledge to spend from your Christmas budget a specified amount to be donated to a charity of your choice, or used to help someone close to you feel a little less stressed financially.  This amount is NOT to be added to your current Christmas budget, but instead it is to be deducted. You can give on top of this amount, but the purpose of this challenge is to get you to take from what you currently spend in the name of passing out tons of stuff, and use that money to give in order to help someone in need instead.

If you were going to spend $300, pledge to spend $200 and use the other $100 to donate to a charity or help someone in some way financially.  Here’s a Christmas idea.  Donate what you were going to spend on your mother, brother, sister or father, to a charity in their name.  Put the receipt from the donation in a Christmas card and let them know it was given in their name. I don’t know about you, but I would LOVE it if someone sent me a card with a receipt saying that instead of buying me a useless gift, they donated the same amount of money to a charity in my name!  That’s money well spent!

Christmas Challenge Summary

Christmas Challenge #1 – Have a DEBT FREE Christmas in 2009

Christmas Challenge #2 – Take from your current Christmas budget and donate that money to charities or someone in need of some financial help.

My Pledge: Our Christmas budget this year is going to be $250, so we are going to pledge $150 of that to be spent giving to charities or someone we love and care about.  That leaves us $100 to spend on the children in our family.  We will likely donate to charities, in our family and friends name like mentioned above.  This is a new idea for me this year so I am excited about it. I am curious to see the response we get from family members.  I think it will be positive!

We also may give more whether it be financially or physically, but this is what we plan to do with our current Christmas budget.  I have never donated my time on Christmas but I like the way that sounds.  I’ll keep you posted!

So what do you think?  Is this something you would be willing to try?  Please share your thoughts in the comments section below.

About Brad Chaffee

10 Responses to “Enemy Of Debt Christmas Challenge #2 – “Help Your Neighbor” Christmas Stimulus”

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  1. I am definatly on board with the first Christmas goal but as far a donating for charity was always give to are church durning that time and if I have a buck or two when were swinging by Walmart I’ll give some there. I also have to mention that Christmas isn’t about what you recieve it’s what you give that makes it so great.

    • Brad Chaffee says:

      Not sure if you misunderstood my challenge Chris. I am not trying to give less I am trying to give more. I do not see the benefit in giving someone useless stuff in the name of saying I gave them a gift. I am only saying that my money can be better spent actually helping those that are less fortunate. I am certainly not worried at all about what I receive, in fact I usually tell people to use their money to buy my son something instead. I would be completely ok if I received nothing.

  2. Money Funk says:

    I am up for challenge #2. I loved the thought when you commented about paying of a utility bill or so. I think I am going to do that for my mother.

    • Brad Chaffee says:

      Hey Money Funk! Another thing I might do this year is to tip a REALLY big amount inside a Christmas card next time we order for delivery or eat out. I have heard of people randomly paying for someone’s fill up on their car too. Little stuff like that can really make an impact on someone.

      I knew this one would be hard for people to swallow. I know a lot of people who thoroughly enjoy the shopping part of Christmas and would never give it up. I do not enjoy it very much and would like to give help as my gift instead of electronics or jewelry. I’m weird I guess! 🙂

  3. I’m giving but not as much as I would like to. I wish I could say that I’d like to be apart of your second challenge but things have been extremely tight for me this year. My wife is due in a month and we’re saving to build a house.

    I’m all for challenge number 1, I’ve never been a fan of racking up large sums of debt just to have a decent Christmas.

    • Brad Chaffee says:

      No worries Chris, one day you will be able to give as much as you like. 🙂

      Also congratulations on the new baby, we are due in October as well. Awesome! The main thing is that you and your wife have a plan. And for the record I do not think that you should deviate from your plan. You have to put your family in a position to be able to give like you really want one day.

      Hooray for the no debt Christmas Chris! I was a fan of using debt for Christmas until I was against it. 🙂

  4. Congrats to you as well, Brad. I find a plan is the only way we can stay on track. We have been taking extra time lately to budget each month and save accordingly.

  5. Ashley says:

    You are just churning out the good challenges Brad! 🙂 My Debt Free Christmas savings goal was $500 and I could surely use $200 of that to do some good for someone else. One of my fondest Christmas memories was making mini stockings filled with travel sized personal care items and taking them to local nursing homes with my mom. We’d go room to room and individually pass them out to the residents. I’m totally re-inspired to restart that tradition this year and hope I’ll be able to get my friends involved!

    Chris I TOTALLY understand not always being able to donate things of monetary value but a lot of times people appreciate time even more than things that cost cash. It was amazing how many of the nursing home residents didn’t even realize we were bringing them something, they were just happy to have someone to sit in their room and talk to them for a while!

    • Brad Chaffee says:

      Thank you Ashley! I am hoping to give some of my time this Christmas for the first time ever. NOt sure where that will be but I know there are lots of places that could use my help.

      Money Funk – That is great! I can’t wait to do some fun giving this year!

  6. Money Funk says:

    Actually, last Christmas we paid breakfast for 2 senior citizen’s. And we walked out before they knew about it. Would have been nice to see the smile on their faces.

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