Saving for Christmas is probably the last thing on your mind as we begin a new year in 2019. Valentine’s Day is coming up soon. Easter will be here before we know it. Of course, there’s Halloween to start planning for soon too! ( It is NEVER too early to plan for Halloween!) However, the beginning of the year is one of the BEST times to start saving money for Christmas. When you start early you can space it out enough that you will barely miss the money you are putting away for the holidays. It’s certainly a lot better than finding yourself on the struggle bus in late November with no funds and no plan for Christmas.
These simple tips will help you save for Christmas this year without breaking the budget. You can find an easy to follow printable Christmas budget at the bottom of the post to help you along the way too! Using the printable you can check off each week as you put money back. You can choose your own amount based on your family size. We are doing $20 per week. On the 50 week schedule on the printable, that means we be able to save $1000 by Christmas!
Tips to Help Save for Christmas 2019
These six quick and easy tips will help you save for Christmas without feeling a kick in the wallet. By putting away as little as $20 you can have a great start to your holiday season waiting for you at the end of the year!
There will always be unforeseen presents needed. Perhaps there’s a new coworker you really get along with at work. Maybe your sister has a new boyfriend. These presents you can add throughout the year. ( or remove if your sister kicks the boyfriend to the curb amirite?)
For the most part, though, the majority of us have a pretty good idea who we will be buying presents for this holiday season. To begin with, make a list of the usual suspects when it comes to your gift giving.
Set Your Budget
Once you have your list finished you can start adding a dollar amount you would like to spend per person. You can ballpark it here….$150 per kid, $75 for your mom, etc etc. You just need a general idea of how much you want to spend all together so you can create an accurate amount to save throughout the year.
When you know the total amount that you think Christmas will cost you this year you can decide on an amount that you would like to save per week to reach that goal. Be sure to make this something that won’t be too hard on you from week to week though. You want to take into consideration how much wiggle room you have in the weekly or monthly budget you already have set.
As a military family, we live pretty far away from all of our relatives. We have a few friends here and there but for the most part, we have a small list of people that we buy anything large for. A budget of $1,000 works great for us because it gives us enough for gifts, fun, and of course our traditional Chinese buffet Christmas dinner each year. ( It started our first Christmas away from home in Utah and just had to continue when we moved to Japan and could get REAL Asian food for the holidays. After that, it just became a family tradition. It’s a win-win for me because I don’t have to think about cooking and I get crab rangoon!)
Shop Online for Deep Discounts
Another bonus of having a list of people you want to buy presents for this year is that you can shop ahead of the holiday season. You will be able to catch seasonal sales, wait for a great price, and take advantage of store savings that you have earned from other shopping. Online shopping can be a great way to do this.
If there is a brand or store that you know you will be shopping at for holiday gifts make a point to sign up for their email list. Many times they will offer a discount to new subscribers as well as special discounts throughout the year. You can hold onto those discounts until you find the items you want to purchase. (Just be sure you know the expiration dates so they don’t go unused!)
Another great way to save by shopping online is to use services such as Honey, RetailMeNot, or Ebates to find discounts and even receive money back on your purchases. Sites such as Zulily or Jane can be a great way to find cute and unique gifts at deep discounts as well!
Set Up a Christmas Savings Account
Were you a 90’s kid? Remember the fancy Christmas savings accounts that our parents had us set up at banks each year? Sure, as kids we barely got $50 bucks in the thing and it usually wasn’t set up until October or November. The one I had came with really cool deposit slips that had Santa Claus on them though which made it totally worth it.
Beileve it or not some banks still offer Christmas specific savings accounts. They may not come with cool deposit slips, but they won’t let you touch your money until a specified date. ( Kids have all the fun…) This can be a great way to make sure your Christmas money doesn’t go to surprise outings or an extra coffee on accident.
If you can’t find a bank that offers a specific Christmas saving account you can still set one up at your own bank. Our bank offers many accounts that can be set up free of charge. With online banking, it is easy to move your weekly deposit to the right account, track your progress, and much more.
Cut Needless Spending
If you are going with the $1000 Christmas savings plan outlined above it shouldn’t be too difficult to find a little extra money each week. You could cut out morning coffee stops or stick to better meal planning to shave a little off of your weekly grocery bill. Eating at home more often is a great way to save a little extra money too.
Take an hour or so one afternoon to really examine your budget. If you don’t use a budget now may be a good time to make one! Once you know what you are spending and where it is easier to decide where you can cut things a little to find the money to save for Christmas.
Side Hustles to Help Save for Christmas
Depending on how tight your weekly budget already is or how much you want to save for Christmas this year you may not be able to find enough wiggle room. Sometimes, ok… a lot of the time, life can hit us with unexpected circumstances. If you are living paycheck to paycheck it can be hard to find money to save because you need a cavity filled or the car broke down or Timmy needs a new pair of shoes. I totally get it, believe me.
Side hustles have become a big thing in recent years and for good reason too! They offer the average Joe ( or Josephine) a chance to earn a little extra money to add to their funds each month. There is a wide variety of side hustles available from online work to driving and even grocery delivery. No matter what your availability or skill level there is something out there that you can do to earn a little extra money to help save for Christmas.
Survey sites are a great option for moms of little ones. Although the pay is somewhat sporadic it can be a great way to earn a little here and there while your children are napping. A similar option, called Swagbucks, is my go-to for earning free coffee. A few hours a week is all it takes to earn a free gift card!
One of my favorite ways to earn a little extra money is through coupon rebate apps like iBotta. With a little planning, you can easily bring in enough for your savings account in no time. I find rebates just about every time I go shopping so they add up quickly too.
If you need more money than is available through survey sites or coupon rebates there are great options such as Uber driving, Instacart grocery delivery, and even Bite Squad. These options can take up a little more of your time but can offer a great return for some (this can vary by location).
Start Saving for Christmas Now with our Free Christmas Savings Plan Printable!
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