It’s your year to plan for a debt free Christmas! Let’s face it, the holidays are stressful enough without the added pressure of paying for gifts, food, and entertainment.
Every household has a unique budget for Christmas and we’re going to help you set up your own personalized holiday budget! And then we’ll look at creating a Christmas Savings Plan with strategies to help you meet your goal.
You can start your debt free Christmas today! Get to planning and start saving up for December 25th. It’ll be here before you know it!
Start Now and Have a Debt Free Christmas
Step 1: Develop a Christmas Budget
I’m sure that the first thing you think about when you hear the word Christmas is “budget” – right?! Kidding! That’s not fun, is it?! You think about snow, elaborately decorated trees, food, and of course, presents.
Christmas comes every year with all of its festivities and related expenses, so why is that that we’re caught off guard year after year?
This time around, determine to make a change and get a handle on those holiday expenses. Once you know your Christmas budget, you can download the Christmas Savings Tracker to help you save up and not go into debt for the holidays.
1) Determine how much you spent last year
This is the first step with any budget. Past behaviors are good indicators of future behavior. Go back over past receipts and see how much you spent in various categories such as gifts, food, and entertainment.
2) Take stock of your current situation
Have you started planning? Have you already purchased gifts? At this stage, it’s a good idea to determine what, if any, progress you’ve made on your Christmas shopping and planning.
3) Project ahead
We’ve looked at the past. We’ve looked at the present. Now, it’s time to look forward to the future. What do you plan to spend this Christmas, taking into account anything that you’ve already purchased and set aside?
Once you determine how much you’re planning on spending this year, go ahead and print out the Christmas Savings Tracker, post it on the fridge, and start working on your goal!
Step 2: Set Up a Christmas Savings Funds
A Christmas savings fund is a smart way to set aside money for the holidays that is not so easily accessible. You’ll hear many people refer to it as a “sinking fund” which is a method to save up small amounts of money over time to pay for a larger purchase down the road.
Your Christmas savings fund could be a special checking account, savings accounts, money market account, or even an envelope. The point is to tackle the larger amount you want to spend in the end by putting more manageable amounts of money away over time.
1) Figure out how much to save weekly
Calculate your weekly savings goal by dividing how much you plan to spend at Christmas by how many weeks you have until Christmas. For example: If you need $1000 for Christmas and you have 20 weeks until then, you need to save $50 a week.
2) Cut costs
With adding an extra weekly cost to save for a debt free Christmas, it may help you to take a look at your other expenses. If you determine that you can reduce an expense or cut it out altogether, you can capture those savings by transferring them into your Christmas savings fund.
If you need some inspiration for how to save money on everyday expenses, you’ll find these helpful: 8 Money Saving Tricks for When Money is Tight! and How to Save Money on Groceries: the ULTIMATE Guide!
3) Earn more money
In addition to cutting costs to fill up your Christmas Savings Fund, think about ways to earn a little more money. That could mean starting a side hustle in your spare time. Or maybe clearing out old books, toys, and DVDs and reselling them.
If you’re stuck and in need of some tips for making a little green, read Make Money FAST with These 10 Tricks.
4) Look for Christmas Deals ALL Year Long
In addition to saving up for a debt free Christmas, you can also be on the hunt throughout the year for crazy deep discounts. The hot deals don’t just happen on Black Friday and Cyber Monday!
For Christmas décor, shopping the day after Christmas is a great idea. And after other holidays like Valentine’s Day and Mother’s Day, you often find heavily discounted gift sets that make perfect Christmas presents.
If you HATE paying full price and never want to miss out on a deal, we post the hottest daily deals to help you get ready for Christmas in our Facebook Group. Click here to check out Hot Deals from Everyday Thrifty!
We hope that you’ve been inspired and are ready to start your debt free Christmas today! There’s no time like the present to get a jump on things and start saving.
Have a tip to share on how you save up for Christmas? We’d love for you to share it below!