In our latest series, Christmas in July, we talked about having the right mindset for Christmas and we talked about creative ways to make extra money for Christmas. This week, I wanted to talk about ways to save money for Christmas.
With our wealthy mindset and our plans on ways to earn extra money, we are also going to find ways to save money for Christmas. Believe it or not, sometimes saving money is not as hard or as difficult as we think. The hardest part is sticking to it and making them a habit.
If you follow MSAHA (My Stay At Home Adventures), you know that I love writing about ways to save money; and some of these ways do not include much effort. Finances are important, and if you want to have a stress and DEBT FREE Christmas, creating a habit of saving money will help you.
If some of the ways to save money for Christmas sound familiar, and you are still trying to find ways to save money, you are not implementing some of these ways, you are not sticking with them, and/or you are looking for a faster way to save money. Remember, you have to start somewhere and watch your money grow; this takes time.
If right now you are living paycheck to paycheck, there are ways you can save money. I wrote about it and I know what it feels like, because I lived it. If you don't take action now and start saving, you will be in trouble when Christmas comes around.
You will be so stressed and so worried about your finances that you won't enjoy your Christmas. I'm sure this will sound familiar; what bills are you not going to pay in order to get your Christmas shopping done? Like I said, I've been there and done that. To help you get started to save money, I have some tips for you:
Create a budget – You need a budget in order to know and control your finances. This is regardless of your income. Everyone should have a budget and know where their money is going.
Start a savings goal – For Christmas last year, we did the 52 Week Saving Challenge and saved over $1300 around Black Friday. What we learned is that we really didn't need to save that amount of money. Don't get me wrong, I'm happy for the amount of money we saved, but for Christmas shopping it was too much.
Creating a savings goal for Christmas will help you stay focused and motivate you. You will be ahead of the game and will know what you have available to spend. This will also prevent you from overspending money since you already know what you to spend.
Find a home for your money – What I mean is find a bank account, or a piggy bank, where this money is going to go. If you are going to save money, you need to have an assign account, or jar (we have a pickle jar), where this money will go.
I recommend you put away your saved money in a place where it's not so easy to access. This will prevent you from using this money and giving in to temptation. I personally use CapitalOne 360 for my 52 Week Saving Challenge and it was the best thing I did.
The reason I used CapitalOne 360 was because it wasn't so easily accessible to me. The debit card was stored away and came out Black Friday when we were ready to shop and use our saved money. I know myself and know that if my money is easily accessible, I will use it. I'm human, I know my faults. When I am emotional, I shop.
Now that you have an idea on how to manage your money, and where you should put your money, here are some ways that will help you save money for Christmas.
How To Save Money For Christmas
- Start a money challenge – Money challenges are fun and they help you save money. I did the 52 Week Savings Challenge and loved it. There are many money challenges out there, simply find the right one that works for you and your budget.
- Use coupons – Using coupons will help you save money, and this will add up. Remember to use coupons wisely, savings from using coupons can be big; up to 50% a transaction. If you don't have time, or need a simpler way to save money, I wrote an article about the way we coupon now.
- Use a shopping list – Before you go shopping, write down what you need. A shopping list will help you stick to the items you need and will prevent you from spending too much money.
- Buy items on sale – Stores have weekly sales, this a great way to save money. These sales cycle, so if you miss the sale, it will come around again. If you are looking for some great tips to save on groceries, you can read about them here.
- Create a menu plan – Creating a menu plan helps you save time and money when done correctly. Create your plan based on what you have at home and weekly sales.
- Avoid eating out – In order to save money, you have to stop wasting money. I am not saying that going out is a waste of money, but it is not a necessity. It is just that simple, save money and don't eat out.
- Bring your lunch from home – You will save a lot of money when you bring your lunch to work instead of eating out. You want to see how much you spent eating out? If you spend $7.00 every day you work, that is $35 a week. That's about $140 a month. That's A LOT of money you will be spending in 12 months.
- Find ways to reduce your utility bills – There are smart ways to help reduce your utility bill. From ways to save on electricity, to saving money using Energy Star rated appliances, light bulbs, and even insulating your home to help you reduce your heating bill.
- Get rid of cable or satellite TV– You don’t need all those channels. Find other alternatives to watching TV like Hulu, Amazon Prime, Netflix, etc. I can guarantee you that there will be tons of Christmas movies there.
- Make your own coffee – If you add up how much money you spend buying your cup of coffee at a coffee shop or gas station vs. making it at home, you’d be surprised. Making your own coffee at home will save you lot of money.
- Stop getting your nails done professionally – Save that money and take care of your own nails.
- Make homemade meals – Stick to basic homemade meals and create them from scratch. It’s cheaper and healthier.
- Find the right mobile phone plan for you – Check your current cell phone plan and see if you can do better. Compare service plans and see what plan works for you. You might be surprised how much money you will save. Check out Republic Wireless, their lowest phone plan starts at $5!
- Stick to cash only budget – Believe it or not, when you use a cash only budget (yes, cash. No card. No debit. No credit card), you save money. You can learn more about a cash only budget here.
- Switch Insurance -Every two years, switch insurance. You will be surprised how much money you will save.
With these tips, there is no way you can't have some money saved for Christmas. These tips are doable, and once you start implementing them, you will learn to use them almost every day. Christmas is too important a season for you to be worrying about finances and not celebrating what is important. I am very sure that if you follow these tips, it will help you have a debt free Christmas.
What other ways do you save for Christmas?
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