Money & Career
6 Steps to Save Now for Christmas
8/31/2017 3:41:58 PM
Christmas

With only three months left until Christmas, you may be looking at your bank account and wondering if you can afford it this year. Consider these six steps to add merriment to your family holiday.
  1. Determine the amount you want to spend on Christmas. According to the American Research Group, Inc., Americans spend approximately $1,000 on their holiday festivities. Review what you spent in years past before deciding if that’s your goal this year. Now divide your decided-upon amount by the number of weeks left until the big day. Then do your best to put at least that amount aside each week.
  2. Save your ‘under budget’ cash. You may already have a weekly plan for your regular monthly expenses. Anytime you don’t spend as much on groceries, utilities, or annual check-ups, stash that cash in your holiday savings.
  3. Start looking for deals now. There is no rule saying you have to wait until December to buy, or that the items must be a new release. Many clearance racks hold some good finds this time of year. Department stores host back to school and Labor Day sales events. Some offer regular weekly or daily deals, such as Amazon and Hobby Lobby. Also, watch for coupons. There will be an increase in special offers between now and December 25, but be sure to do your research so you know if it’s a true deal, or too good to be true.
  4. Find alternative ways to earn money. If you struggle to meet your weekly saving goal, consider how you might earn extra cash. September and October are great times of year to clean out the house and have garage sales, or get creative and sell your wares at local festivals.  
  5. Have a DIY Christmas. Homemade treasures leave a more lasting impression than store bought gifts. They can also be considerably less costly. Consider giving at least one gift (if not all) for each family member from your own hands and imagination. Starting now gives you plenty of time to gather materials and craft a unique memento. Not sure how to get started? Scour the internet for ideas and focus on anything your loved ones might collect, or that they may have expressed an interest in. Concentrate on their dreams or goals when planning this piece.
  6. Pause your entertainment budget. Many of us prefer dining out, visiting the theater, or enjoying weekend getaways. Instead, make more home cooked meals (or buy less expensive take out), revisit favorite movies at home, and plan more family game nights. Kids stay pretty busy this time of year with school, homework, and extracurricular activities anyway. In addition to more relaxed time with loved ones, you’ll save more for a great Christmas break.
Saving and planning early makes creating a memorable holiday possible. It also makes the next few months less stressful and more enjoyable. Planning, or continuing, holiday traditions can be one of the best parts of the season. So follow these steps and make holiday savings part of your own tradition.
Posted by: Sylvia Ney | Submit comment | Tell a friend

Categories: Finances

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