Are you ready for Christmas?
No? Me neither.
Don’t worry, it’s still about six months away!
But what you do now to save money, could determine whether it’s a happy Christmas, or a Christmas like so many before it (if you’re like me)… a happy season, with underlying, nagging guilt, frustration, and anxiety over debt.
But start saving now, just a little every week, and you can start a snowball of savings. Here’s how I’m working on saving for Christmas in July.
22 week savings plan for Christmas
Here’s my plan: Start saving July 1st and keep saving small, totally doable amounts each week for the next 22 weeks, which will take me up to the beginning of December. Because that’s when you really start shopping. That’s when all the stores are screaming about big discounts, and you don’t want to miss out because you don’t have the money.
Set a goal or a weekly amount
Start by setting a weekly or a total savings goal. You can figure out your savings goal in one of two ways:
1- Set a goal you want to be able to spend on Christmas gifts, or an amount you think you will need, taking into account all the people you’ll be shopping for. Then divide that amount by 22, and that’s your weekly savings goal.
2- If saving anything seems daunting for you (I get it! I’m there too.)… set a dollar amount that you think you can realistically save each week. Multiply that by 22, and that’s how much you’ll have at the end of your Christmas savings journey. If it doesn’t seem like enough, try to stretch your weekly savings goal a little bigger. Saving any small amount is better than nothing. And the more you save now means the less you put on credit when it’s crunch time.
Just to give you (and me 😉) some incentive… here is a breakdown of how much you could save by starting now:
$20 each week for 22 weeks = $440
$30 each week for 22 weeks = $660
$40 each week for 22 weeks = $880
$50 each week for 22 weeks = $1100
Ways to save each week
By setting a small weekly savings goal, it should be easy to set that amount aside without throwing the rest of your budget for a loop. Here are a few sneaky ways to squirrel away some cash.
1- Take a small amount out of each paycheck, before you set your budget or start spending anything
2- Get a little extra cash back each time you go grocery shopping
3- If you have a side business or hobby that you make a little money from that doesn’t need to go to household expenses, set it all aside
4- Round up all of your purchases and bills in your checkbook to the nearest $5 or $10 (If you pay a bill for $36.40, record it as $40. That’s $3.60 in savings.)
5- Sell something you no longer need or want on Facebook Marketplace, LetGo or OfferUp
Track your savings
With any savings plan, I think it’s important to have a visual reminder and motivator.
So I’m going to be tracking my saving on this Christmas Savings tracker. You can download a copy too and print it out. I’ve made it customizable so you can tailor it to your specific savings goal. There’s a calendar version and a list version.
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