Start Saving for Christmas…Now!

It’s amazing how fast a year passes when you are busy! As we settle into 2018, we can look ahead to the next few months without giving much thought about Christmas shopping. Some of us might be trying to forget the time spent shopping for presents, standing in lines, and the bills that came along with all of that. Many of us might be trying to figure out ways to get back on track after spending too much during the holiday season. All of us can make a plan to avoid these headaches at the end of this year!

To be honest, I love shopping. You might already know that if you’ve read my other blogs. However, Christmas shopping stressed me out this year. It wasn’t because I didn’t know what to get anyone. It wasn’t because I ran out of time to shop. It was because I didn’t start saving for Christmas in time! Instead of planning ahead, I found myself trying to come up with money as I shopped, while trying not to deplete my savings account or use my credit card.

January is the time to make resolutions, right? This inspired me to make a savings plan almost a year ahead of time. Is this crazy? Maybe. But if it makes shopping during the holidays less stressful I’m willing to give it a try.

Here are some tips on getting a head start on your holiday shopping savings:

• Evaluate the amount of money you spent Christmas shopping this year. Did you spend more than you might have wanted to? Give yourself an amount that you want to have ready to spend when you start Christmas shopping.

• Think about the amount you want to spend at the end of the year for gifts now, and make a plan on how to save it by the time you start your shopping. For example, if you would like to save $400 by November, you can divide it by the amount of weeks or months you have to save. For me, putting aside equal amounts every week for a goal I’m trying to reach works out best.

• Keep the money you’re saving for the holidays separate from the rest. You can open a savings or checking account just for that money, or you might even look into an actual Christmas Club account. With a Christmas Club, you will put away a certain amount every week and receive the money back at the end of the year for your shopping.

• You might be traveling to relatives’ houses for the holidays, or maybe you’re planning on joining in on the season of giving by donating to a charity. Do your best to plan accordingly so you can be ready for these expenses before the end of the year too!

Already planning on a savings plan for Christmas shopping now might seem a little crazy, especially since we are just putting our decorations back up in the attic for the year. However, I think most of us will benefit from starting now. By doing this, we can lessen the chance we will use credit cards or take money that we might be saving for something else. We won’t be trying to adjust our spending on other expenses closer to the holidays either. Instead, you can actually enjoy the holiday season, and not be worried about money! It almost sounds like a Christmas present to yourself!


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