How To Save All Year Long For Christmas Spending
The holidays are here and you may be looking at your bank account thinking “How the heck am I going to make Christmas work this year?!”. I did that for my last time last year and decided to make a change. I learned how to save all year long for Christmas spending. It is quite simple but it does take forethought and planning. I can explain to you how I did it, plus give you a couple of options for how to modify my methods to suit your needs. Don’t break your Christmas budget this year, instead plan ahead!
Since I have a 1 (almost 2) year old, Christmas gifts for him do not have to be extravagant. I keep my budget for him pretty modest. As the kids get older, they start wanting more expensive toys and gadgets, so I know I’ll need to modify this budget eventually.
My husband and I try hard to keep the overspending at bay. We don’t want to cheap out too much either though. I enjoy giving gifts too much to have too small of a budget. We will always keep our budget for each other under what our budget is for our kid though.
I try to plan for White Elephant Gift Swap parties, Christmas décor and of course gifts for family members with the remainder of my budget.
Choose a goal amount. If you want to spend a certain amount on your spouse and kids, make sure your total reflects a realistic amount. Once you’ve got the goal amount divide that number by 12. This is how much you will need to save per month. If you get paid biweekly, half that number. This is how much you will need to take out of each paycheck and put into savings.
For me, I actually have an auto withdrawal set up with my company and a credit union. I get a certain amount taken out of my account each paycheck and it is automatically deposited into my credit union account. This is great because it requires no action from me (other than the initial set up) and I can see a YTD total on my paycheck stub.
The week of Thanksgiving, I stop by the credit union and make a large withdrawal. If you are a cash spender, this is great. If you are an online shopper like myself this could be an issue. My suggestion is to put it all on a Visa card and only use that card for Christmas spending.
Be careful! Keep a ledger of what you spend and on whom. You don’t want to get caught over spending.
For my cash buddies, the envelope system works great! Put a name on an envelope and only spend what is in the envelope.
If you can’t do a credit union, you can always play it old school and keep a coffee can hidden and toss money in there each month. Also keep a piece of paper in there to mark when you deposit and when you withdrawal.
You can also just open a savings account dedicated solely to Christmas. This way, if you end up making any extra cash throughout the year (on top of your predetermined monthly contribution) and you want to toss it towards Christmas you can put it in this account.
Learn More About Money Management
Like I said, it is quite simple but it does require planning. Shop the sales and check the Black Friday and Cyber Monday deals!
If you want to know more money saving tips, debt payoff and budgeting ideas, check out my $10 online self-paced course. I provide my very own budgeting Excel spreadsheet. You can also read about how my husband and I worked our tails off and paid off $60k of debt in one year. It is by far my most viewed blog post.
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