Wait, Christmas is on the same day every year? When did that happen??? That seemed to be my frame of mind for awhile; it seemed like Christmas was suddenly upon us every year and I scrambled to gather up enough money for gifts. With six nieces and nephews and family on both sides, and now a daughter, that ends up being a lot of presents! Finally, after sitting down to look over our budget, John and I figured out what to do, and it’s seriously so easy I don’t know why I didn’t start this earlier.
You need to treat Christmas as if it were any other monthly bill. For example, you know that your phone bill is, let’s say, $60 a month. You know that you need to set aside at least $60 a month to pay that phone bill. Perhaps you have a separate bank account for all those bills, maybe not. What I’m proposing is that you create a new savings account just for Christmas money and treat it like a bill; that is, putting money into it every month to pay for Christmas. To some people, this seems so obvious! Of course you need to save for Christmas! But there are some people (like I was) that either didn’t even think about it this way, or think that they don’t have enough money coming in to save for Christmas. You probably have more than you think!
Can you set aside 10 dollars a week? How about 5? If you think about paying your Christmas fund in weekly installments, it doesn’t seem as bad as, say, putting $40 a month into the account. And if you can set up an automatic transfer, the money will go straight into your account without you even seeing it. Out of sight, out of mind, and suddenly it’s November and you have all this money in your Christmas fund, hurray!
Here’s what ours looks like. As you can see, we actually do ours monthly, so it looks like a lot more is going out. But if you do it in weekly installments, it really won’t seem so bad. It’s so nice knowing that we have money set aside every year for Christmas gifts and don’t have to worry about where the money’s going to come from! If you’re ready to start this challenge, I’ve created a chart that shows 47 weeks of putting in $10 each week. If you start January 1st, you’ll hit your goal about mid-November, which is perfect timing for Black Friday!
$470 may not seem like a lot to some people, especially for Christmas, but it’s perfect for us. We have enough to spend on all our family, each other, and still have some left over for other things (Like stocking up on after-Christmas sales!). Start now, or start January 1st; either way, by this time next year, you’ll have a good chunk of money to do your Christmas shopping!
What do you do to save money for Christmas? Share your ideas in the comments!