Say “Christmas is coming!” and there is that sudden groan from everyone around. It isn’t that people aren’t happy about Christmas, it is trying to afford Christmas. It’s expensive. By the time people buy presents, buy things to wrap presents, and buy food for the holidays – budgets take a huge hit. It is stressful. Christmas is a beautiful holiday and it shouldn’t be stressful.
There are simple ways to save for Christmas. Which saving method will work best for you will depend on when you start saving.
Saving Early in the Year
Saving early in the year doesn’t have to mean starting in March. It just means that you are starting to save before the holiday shopping season.
Many people find the idea of starting a savings account or Christmas club account to be overwhelming. It feels too much like saving. If you are one of these people, try seeing if your bank offers a round up type saving account.
How it works: You buy something you would normally buy with your debit card. Your bank rounds the amount up to the nearest dollar and adds it into a special account. The amount that gets moved is so minimal, you hardly even notice it. On the other hand, these little amounts add up. By the time you are ready to start Christmas shopping, you will have most – if not all – of your Christmas shopping money ready to go.
If you do not like the idea of starting a new savings account or your bank does not offer this kind of account, use a change jar or jug. Every day, when you come home, empty your pockets. All the change goes into the jar. When you are making purchases, pay in cash, or else you won’t have any change to put in the jar, and always use dollars. Do not use the change. This way, you are not missing the extra money you are saving.
Saving Right Before Christmas
If Christmas feels like it has snuck up on you, and now you are wondering how you going to afford it, there are other ways to gather money together. But it takes a more aggressive approach. While you will feel the pinch in your budget, it can be done.
The first thing to do is look at where your money is going right now. Where can you take from in order to pull for Christmas? Do you order lunch each day? Can you pack lunch to save the money towards Christmas? Can you squeeze your grocery budget a little in order to save some money each week? Try buying less meat and use more canned veggies in your recipes in order to stretch it out. Many people don’t realize all the little things that come out of their cash on hand. Do you buy coffee or water when you are out? That cup of coffee or bottle of water each day adds up. It is a simple way to be able to afford a small present by the end of the week.
If you find you have not saved enough in time for Christmas, think outside of your wallet. Can you make cookies or a specialty bread? Can you create a craft that someone on your list will appreciate? Don’t let Christmas stress you out. You can always find more ways to make money.
So whether you start saving early in the year or right before the holidays, there are simple ways to save for Christmas. You just need to have a desire to do the saving, get a little creative, and you’ll have Christmas covered in no time!
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