Before you know it the Christmas / holiday season will be here. If you did not start saving earlier this year, that is OK. There is still time to save to pay for the gifts you are buying or making. If you are like me you want to have more saved than you spend. Being debt free for Christmas can really make the New Year easier!
So here is a plan to save $1,000 for THIS Christmas. Start now and you will thank me later.
I will admit it is not going to be easy and you will have to put in some work to get it done in this short of a time. But can you just imagine how awesome you will feel when you make this happen? Even if you do not plan to spend $1,000 on gifts this year, still try to save it and what is left over can be invested, put in an emergency fund, or used to pay down debt!!
Save $1,000 for Christmas
With X weeks left to go until Christmas, that breaks down to $X/week that needs to be saved. Depending on when you are reading this, the amount is a formula. Take the amount that you need to save $1,000 and divide it by the number of weeks until Christmas. That is the weekly amount you will need to save. The closer you are to the big day, the higher the number will be. I know it seems like a lot of money to save. But it can be done!
There are two ways to save it.
- Cut out spending entirely
- Cut down spending from a big category
A combination of both is highly recommended. Then place that difference in a savings or money market account (called an MMA)
Plus, think about adding income from a side hustle to the mix!
Take your normal grocery bill and cut down what you spend by $75 a week. $75 X 5 weeks = $375. Or 38% of what you need to save. If you can cut more from spending that is awesome! I was able to do just that with The Grocery Budget Makeover. The cool thing about that program is that it teaches you how to save money all year long, I actually cut out about $1,200 from my grocery budget in 7 months. If that is not for you, that is OK.
here are some great ways to cut out spending on Groceries:
- shop sales only, meaning only buy what is on sale, nothing full priced
- clip coupons
- use ibotta
- use checkout 51
- use Savings Star
- eat from your pantry / freezer for a week (or more!)
Cut Costs on Travel
- find the cheapest gas (like using apps like gas buddy) or I find Costco is the cheapest for me hands down
- forego using one car for the weekend, make all your errands at one time
- use the bus, bike, or ride share
Estimated cost savings over 5 weeks is $100 – $150 or $20 – $30/week. Total potential savings of 15% of the budget. This category could potentially save more. It really depends on how deep you go on cutting costs here.
Save Money While Having Fun
Have a few no spend weekends.
Estimated savings from a no-spend weekend varies. But I estimate it at $100/weekend or $20/week. If you complete this once it would account for 10% of the required savings. I would recommend planning two weekends like this. For a total of $200 or $40/week and 20% of the required savings.
There are so many awesome things you can do on a no spend weekend. Just make sure you stock away the money you would have spend into a savings account or money market account!
Rather than just cutting costs. Sell something that you have in the house that you no longer use or something that you know how to make.
Places to Sell your goods:
- Mom to Mom groups on Facebook
- garage sale
Ebay accounts are easy to set up, but you have to spend a bit of time researching prices, write a listing, and you will pay a fee to both EBay and PayPal. I personally love using my local Mom to Mom groups on Facebook, it is free and you can make very quick cash on clothes etc, without having to organize a garage sale. But if you are really looking to make a dent and get some cash fast, a garage sale cannot be beat!
Estimated money to the savings account over 5 weeks is $100 – $200 or $20 – $40/week. Total potential savings of 20% of the budget.
Cut out discretionary spending
This can vary from person to person. I personally cut out Starbucks for a few months. Or all but one day. For me that could easily save $5/day or $30/week.
Using this as an example, estimated money to the savings account over 5 weeks is $150 or $30/week. Total potential savings of 15% of the budget.
Now, your weakness may not be Starbucks, but you know what it is, that is the budget you need to cut down or out for a few weeks.
Save a small amount a day
This is just plain saving. Put $5/day into the savings account every day. This will add up fast! there are 35 days in 5 weeks (7 days a week X 5 weeks = 35 days).
Estimated money to the savings account over 5 weeks is $175 or $35/week. Total potential savings of 17.5% of the budget.
Putting it all together
Below is a sample plan. Its totally customizable. That is the best part.
Whatever you save from these strategies place into your Christmas savings account. It is better to keep this separate and I highly recommend it. But, since this is short-term you could keep it in your normal savings account. Just make sure you keep a tally on your tracking sheet while you save that way you know which funds are earmarked for the holiday season.
You should also track it on a 5-Week Christmas Savings Sheet to keep you on track.
Start budgeting For Christmas Next Year
Want to save money sooner for next year? I got you covered! Check out this post on 3 different savings plans that you can start next year!
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