In less than three months, Christmas will be here. Although it feels like it's early to start planning and saving for Christmas gifts, now is the time to get started. This three-month savings plan will help you budget for your holiday expenses without breaking the bank. With a little bit of discipline and some creative thinking, you'll be able to have a Merry Christmas without going into debt!
Why start early:
With job shortages, a pandemic, and inflation, we will all be affected this shopping season.
That being said, it is still no excuse not to have a spending plan ready for the holiday season. In other words, a budget for the holiday season.
I know we’re hardly into October and Santa is still at the North Pole. With the economy the way it is and inflation affecting everyone's finances.
In around three months, the carolers would be singing, mince pie would be in the oven, and you would be stressed out of your mind.
Because before you even hang the mistletoe, the financial cost of Christmas will start to weigh you down.
You’re not alone. Americans generally rack up a debt exceeding $1000 over the holiday season.
The National Retail Federation found that in 2020, consumers plan to spend an average of $997.79 on gifts and other holiday items — quite a pretty penny when you consider that the median weekly salary in the U.S is $994 before taxes.Go Bank Rates
It gets worse as 42% of these unfortunate souls take three to four months to repay the debt.
And that’s why; it’s never too early to work on your Christmas saving goals.
In other words, if you don’t want debt to pile up faster than the gifts under your tree –START SAVING NOW!
Hopefully, by the time it’s December, you will have enough dough to have a stress-free holiday season.
How to Achieve Your Christmas Saving Goals in 8 Simple Steps:
Here’s how you can begin saving for Christmas now.
Step 1: Set Precise Saving Goals
My husband loves this quote; “vague goals get vague results”. I believe he got it from a YouTube personality but regardless –it holds true.
Your Christmas saving goals should be defined by numbers.
If you start without setting a precise objective, you will most likely lose focus and direction.
So have a specific amount in your mind. Of course, this amount should be based on how much you’re likely to spend.
And if you’re unsure about your Christmas expenditure, that’s fine too.
Most American families spend somewhere around $1000 on holidays. So this figure should work perfectly as a benchmark.
Target: $1000 in 3 months
Step 2: Divide the Target by 3 Months
To save $1000 by Christmas, you must set aside $333.33 a month. For the sake of simplicity, we can round this figure to $335 (let’s stay on the safe side).
If you can’t find $335 this month, throw whatever you have toward saving. After this, divide the amount you need to save by the number of months left.
Target Divided by Months:
- September: $335
- October: $335
- November: $335
Step 3: Use Coupons, Promo Codes
When it comes to realizing your Christmas saving goals, coupons can be life savers.
Hence, use coupons and promo codes while buying everyday items. You will be amazed to see just how much money can be saved this way.
Starting out, the amount saved will be like $1 to $3 per purchase. But over a period of time, it will add to something much more significant.
These days, you can find a coupon for just about everything. And it becomes easier to find a coupon while shopping online.
Simply do a quick Google search while you’re at the checkout at an online store. Or visit money-saving websites like ClothingRIC, where you can find the latest clothing and lifestyle items coupons.
In the end, couponing is an art form of sorts. If you get any good at it, you can easily save around $90 every month till Christmas.
Estimated saving: $90 a Month
Step 4: Sell Something from Your House
Every mom considers the clutter lying around the house as the bane of her existence.
Well, it’s time to put that year's worth of household stuff on sale and make some extra cash –Talk about killing two birds.
You are most likely sitting on a big chunk of money.
Here’s what I was able to make just last month on some used items (just to give you an idea):
- Used clothes and shoes (good condition): $40
- Books: $10
- Kid’s toys: $10
Of course, getting these things out did take a lot of work. I had to clean them, list them, package them for shipment and advertise them on multiple websites.
It does require some hustle but believe me! It’s all worth it. This activity will also help you polish your bargaining skills, which will come in handy.
Estimated saving: $60 a Month
Step 5: Save on Online Subscriptions
Unnecessary online subscriptions are a burden many of us bear without knowing why.
Until very recently, my husband and I subscribed to Hulu so I could watch The Handmaid’s Tale. My husband had zero interest in the show, so it was mostly Offered (our cat, obviously) and me.
However, I soon met a woman in the neighborhood who shared my love for the show.
After this, we have watch parties at her house, with me bringing over treats for my new bestie. Of course, I invited her to my place for some movies every now and then.
All this made the Hulu subscription redundant, so I unsubscribed. Saving on this online subscription made me realize how unnecessary it was in the first place.
Be it on free TV or with friends, and there are plenty of ways to watch entertaining content without wasting money. Not to forget, there is also the option of redeeming digital coupons to cut the price on services like Netflix on Hulu.
In any case, try to cut out unnecessary online subscriptions if you’re serious about achieving your Christmas saving goals.
Estimated saving: $10 a month
Step 5: Skip Eating Out
This one hits close to home. With everything going on, we wanted to support local businesses to the point that we blew our budget.
We recommend sticking to a budget when it comes to eating out and taking out or simply skipping eating out.
My husband and I love trying out new places to eat out. Let’s just say we are both a couple of foodies.
Usually, you will find us at a Mexican or Chinese joint once or twice a week. This means we can easily save $100 a month by eating in.
Although it’s not easy, I suspend our eating escapades leading up to Christmas. And I would suggest my readers do the same. It’s good for both your personal and financial health.
Estimated saving: $100 a month
Step 7: Get a Side Gig
I have been lucky enough to make some extra bucks by blogging and freelancing on the web. One of my friends does extra shifts before Christmas.
I’ve even heard of women working on holidays to help with their Christmas saving goals. However, make sure to check the company policy if you’re going to go this route.
There are plenty of ways to earn some extra currency. In doing so, one can gain control over their finances and have something extra saved for Xmas.
Estimated saving: $100 per month
- Read Resources to Make money on the side to get ideas on side gigs.
- Start selling printables, learn how to create them, and make money with this course.
Step 8: Shop on Cyber Monday
Now that your Christmas saving goals are covered, I want to give you an extra tip: Shop on Cyber Monday.
If you’re a soft soul like me, Black Friday is not an adventure you would enjoy.
All of those World War Z-Esque (or Train to Busan-Esque) scenes from Walmart and Target seem terrifying, to say the least.
So what you should do instead is get cozy in your pajamas, pull out a glass of red wine and benefit from the gift of eCommerce.
Cyber Monday is a godsend for anyone that wants to attain discounts from the comfort of their homes. Last year, I got 50% off with a GoDaddy hosting coupon code for my personal website. The opportunities are endless.
Online retailers are extremely generous with the discount offers and voucher codes on Cyber Monday, giving you the perfect chance to save on many items. Don’t let it go to waste.
And there you have it, Christmas is all sorted out.