6 Easy Ways to Budget and Save for Christmas
Christmas is a holiday filled with joy, but it can also be a very stressful time for a lot of people due to finances and expenses. A time that should be focused on friends and family has begun to be a time of financial stress and worry, and that’s the last thing anyone needs during a “happy” holiday season. There is a lot that can be done to avoid financial issues during the Christmas season, and ways to assure that the Christmas season will remain joyful and stress-free.
Calculate How Much You Need to Save
Having a financial plan in place for Christmas can be beneficial in many ways. It’s not unusual to overspend, especially if you don’t have a plan for how much should be spent on each gift. Creating a Christmas budget is an important step to take before beginning any spending. To do this, set a budget and make a list of each person you’d like to purchase a gift for, as well as the estimated amount being spent on each gift. Once the list is made and you’ve calculated how much you’ll need in total, consider adding extra expenses to the budget for activities and decorations.
These expenses can add up quickly, but budgeting helps to provide a clear idea of how much you’ll need to save throughout the weeks leading up to Christmas. For instance, if your budget is $1,000 and you have ten weeks until Christmas, you’ll want to save around $100 a month. The sooner you begin saving for the holiday, the less you’ll have to put back each month.
Set up a Christmas Savings Account
When you decide to start saving for Christmas, it’s important to set up a savings account specifically for the holiday. Opening a savings account specifically for Christmas helps to make saving easier, and more of a priority. Some saving account options include accounts such as a High Yield savings account, which allows you to save online and earn more in interest. Many banks also allow separate savings accounts, which allow easy transfer from one account to another. Cash envelopes may come in handy for those who prefer to pull out their holiday funds.
Gift Cards and Cashback
Earning gift cards and cashback for gifts is a great way to earn money for gifts throughout the year. Something that may be earned for free could be utilized closer to Christmas, making your life easier throughout the holiday season. Rakuten is a website that allows you to earn cash back while shopping online. Rakuten, formally known as Ebates, sends customers their earned cash back payments in the form of Paypal payments or checks.
Another helpful resource for cash back rewards is Fetch Rewards, which is a great way to earn gift cards. Fetch Rewards is an app where users can scan any receipt and earn points for certain items. Fetch Rewards allows users to earn points and redeem those points for gift card rewards to well-known stores like Walmart, Amazon, and Target, all of which can come in handy when it comes to Christmas shopping.
Branded Surveys is a 100% legit way to earn, allowing users to complete surveys in order to earn points. The earned points from Branded Surveys can then be redeemed for either cash or gift cards. Toluna Influencers let users earn by answering simple surveys. Taking these surveys consistently helps users earn money and gift cards which can be later used towards Christmas gifts.
Cut Back on Expenses
A simple and easy way to save money for Christmas is by cutting back on unneeded subscription or eating out less can prove to be highly beneficial to finances in the long run. Viewing and assessing bank statements can help you identify how much is being spent each month, and what expenses could be avoided with unnecessary expenses early on. Chances are, there’s extra money in your budget being spent on things you don’t necessarily need. Something as simple as canceling while saving. Cutting back on unnecessary expenses will provide extra money in your budget, which can then be used towards your Christmas funds.
Mistakes to Avoid
There are mistakes to avoid when budgeting and saving for the holidays. One of the most important mistakes to avoid is using money from your Christmas funds for unrelated expenses. Obviously, sometimes this is unavoidable due to emergency expenses, but it’s best to leave the savings account alone unless it’s 100% necessary. Another important thing to remember is to only shop with a plan in place.
If you’ve made it all the way to the Christmas holidays with your savings in place, that’s already half the battle, but it’s important to be sure you don’t overspend or go over budget when purchasing gifts, décor, or out enjoying popular holiday activities. Before you begin shopping, make sure you have a plan in place for your finances. Once you purchase a gift for someone on your list, cross them off and move onto the next, there’s no need to keep spending.
Save for Activities and Décor
It’s easy to remember and plan for gifts you’ll need to buy throughout the holiday season, but it’s important to also save for decorations and Christmas experiences. Chances are, you’ll want to make a trip with the family to see Santa, or purchase items like a Christmas tree and lights. These extra expenses can add up quickly, so it’s important to include them in your budget in order to enjoy a less stressful holiday season.
No matter how you choose to budget or save for Christmas, it’s important to start early and make the holiday a priority now, so that the season can truly be full of jolly, happy times, not stressing over finances. By utilizing the above tips and resources, you can be assured that by the time Christmas comes around, you’ll be fully prepared for all of your planned expenses.
Be sure to check out our other post about saving for Christmas!