The holidays are right around the corner and it’s time to start to save for Christmas. I don’t know about you, but I always feel like I have plenty of time to plan and then BAM! … next thing I know, it’s fall and I’ve done nothing. This year will be different and I’m going to provide you with some great ways to save for Christmas starting today. Let the Christmas savings begin!
How to begin to save for Christmas
1. Do you have a budget?
A budget can become your best tool when figuring out how to save. Become very intimate with your finances and figure out your budget. Once you know where you stand each month, you can really get a view of the big picture to see what you can afford to put aside for your Christmas fund.
2. Online Shopping is my BFF
If you have a big family, extended family, close friends, and neighbors then you know what it is like to get into the Christmas rush. For me, online ordering became my absolute best friend after I had my second child. He was a Thanksgiving baby and I wasn’t about to take him out into the massive crowds of overzealous shoppers. Nope.
I opted for online shopping and the bonus for that was PROMO CODES! You can google promo codes until the cows come home and find something that works. You also probably have gotten a pop up when you’ve visited a website for the first time that says something like ‘sign up with your email address and get 20% off TODAY’. While getting spammed with tons of new emails isn’t ideal, that 20% off can really add up with each purchase. (You can also unsubscribe anytime.)
3. Save for Christmas with cashback websites?
One great way to save for Christmas is using a cashback website. Rakuten is a cashback website that offers a percentage of your purchase that you will get back once a quarter. If you are going to make a large purchase I highly recommend you checking out these options. We purchased a mattress online after testing it out in the store and was able to get about $180 cashback. CHA-CHING! There are more options for cashback websites and I would definitely recommend checking it out if you are an avid online shopper.
4. When should I start to save for Christmas?
This entirely depends on you! Some people start saving as soon as Christmas is over. Others forget and then rack up credit card debt that they are paying off until the middle of the next year. YUCK! If you know what your recipient wants then you can begin planning early and watch for sales throughout the year. Many stores and online websites have special days where they blast out the biggest deals. Keep tabs on these deals by signing up for emails or notifications on their app. It is a great way to find the best deal possible.
5. How else can you save a little cash on the side?
Guess what? Eating out, whether at restaurants or fast food, adds up VERY QUICKLY. Commit to bringing a homemade lunch with you to work and cutting out the extra spending when it comes to eating out. Delivery services like Doordash are absolutely convenient but you end up paying more for the food, fees, and delivery fees. Save that cash and opt for eating out minimally. If you’re not so good with money then I’d suggest scheduling a family finance appointment with our pros to help you set up a budget and figure out the best plan for you financially.
6. Let’s talk generic
Yes, I know, generic is a term that can mean basic. Yet, some generic brands are just as good, if not better, than the higher costing brand names. When shopping, test out the store brands and compare them to the name brand items. Swapping out certain products that you use for a store/generic brand can save you quite a bit of money. Not to mention, that money you save buying generic can go straight into a ‘save for Christmas’ fund. All of those dollars will add up to some three digits numbers and you’ll be glad you did it.
7. Sell Your Stuff
The world we live in now could not make it any easier to sell your own personal belongings. There are scores of apps and websites dedicated to selling off our stuff. Clothing you no longer want, the exercise equipment you thought you’d use, or furniture, all have someone who will want to buy it.
I have come up with a system for my kids that might help you. As we all know, children grow WAY too fast. I couldn’t keep up with their clothing. Before they even had a chance to wear a new outfit, they had already grown out of that size. I can’t tell you how frustrating it became to buy new clothes only to pass them on for a fraction of the cost.
I started using websites/apps and selling off my kids clothing and then taking that money to buying their new clothes. Did I buy them new clothes anymore? Occasionally. I have stuck to second hand stores and online websites, with an occasional new thing for school or holidays. I know what you are thinking… how will this save me money? Recycling people! You now no longer have to foot the bill for all the new sizes your children will need. Instead, you can sell what you have and take those funds to pay for your new bundle of clothing. Great right? I’ve steadily done this for nearly 8 years and don’t look back.
8. BILLS, BILLS, BILLS…
This one is great, no seriously, if you like saving money then I got your back. If you don’t already use a website like powertochoose to find the best plans for your energy then let’s get that ball rolling. We were with a company, that shall not be named, and we paid over $300 for energy. YIKES. That hurt especially since being without air conditioning in this Houston weather is unbearable. You can shop around and find a great energy plan at discounted prices and not pay those high rates every again. More savings and cash for Christmas! You’re welcome.
Talking about bills, what about your cell phone and subscriptions that you have. I’m guilty of having an unholy amount of subscriptions like Hulu, Amazon Prime, Netflix, Pandora, Apple music, and the list goes on. Evaluate your subscriptions and decide which one’s you can live without or pause their service and pocket that extra dough until you are ready to use them again. Same with your cell phone bill – most companies offer no contracts now and you can really get the best deal putting those savings back in your pocket.
9. DIY Christmas, you knew this was coming
Do. It. Yourself. If you aren’t able to save throughout the year then I’ve got you covered. Now, some of us aren’t so skilled when it comes to being crafty or handling anything DIY. If this is you, then I’d say to give it another chance. Giving homemade gifts, whether it be a wreath, photobook, blankets, or even baked goods, shows that it comes from the heart. These are some of my favorite gifts because I know that there was time, and maybe a little blood, sweat, and tears put into it. Opting for a homemade gift still gives you the ability to give something and save some extra cash.
10. Taxes, ..say what?
I know… I know… hear me out. My tax advisor, also my hubby, has said to me, on more than one occasion, that it’s best to try and come out even around tax time. This gives you the ability to take more money home during the year rather than receive a big refund. “Why let the IRS keep your cash interest free when you can be using it all year round.” – Kevin Molen. This is what we do and it’s great. Then there are those that want that big, chunky refund. If that’s you, then this is a great time to allocate some monies to save for Christmas. Just make sure you have a yearly check with your tax advisor regarding your withholding to ensure you’ll receive that refund.
I love Christmas and look forward to it every year. If you stress out about saving, then I hope this blog gives you some great ideas to help you enjoy your holiday without breaking the bank.
Quality Analysis Specialist/Marketing Asst.