No matter what time of year it is, you can start to save money all year long – for Christmas, a family vacation, or perhaps a home improvement project. Here are some money saving tips on how to do just that.
Save Money All Year Long
If you make saving for Christmas (or for any big purchase) a weekly habit starting now, you won’t be left at the end of the year possibly racking up credit card debt because you didn’t make a plan.
There are different schools of thought on what might be the best:
- Start with a small amount, let’s say $5 a week, and gradually increase that through the year. One problem with this method, is that by the time December rolls around you may not have $40/$50 a week to keep setting aside.
- So then there’s the inverse of that: Start now with a higher amount per week – maybe it’s $50 a week set aside in a separate bank account, and then gradually scale it down through the year. At the end of the year you’re saving $5 a week, which can be much more manageable.
- Then the third way is to set aside a fixed amount every week. You can easily budget for it, even setting up a direct deposit from your paycheck to transfer $20 (for example) each week, or $40 each pay period, to a bank account that’s separate from your checking account you withdraw from.
Right now we’re two weeks in to the new year, so there’s 50 weeks left. By setting aside $20 a week, you’ll have $1,000 by the end of the year. That can mean that Christmas presents are paid for with cash – not on credit cards, or it can mean a vacation is paid for in cash.
The Key is to Start Early
Don’t fret if you’re reading this in April and you only have eight months left of the year.
Ask yourself these questions:
- What is my end goal? Is it a vacation? Funding for Christmas gifts? The next semester of college tuition?
- How much do I need to reach that goal? Let’s say your goal is to pay for Christmas in cash. Look at your receipts from this past Christmas, to help determine your budget for next Christmas. Factor in any charitable giving you may do, also.
- Can I afford to take the amount needed to reach that goal, and divide it into monthly payments?
This is where adjustments to expectations may need to be made, to ensure you’re not overextending yourself.
If you’d like to hear audio from this topic that I shared on B105.7 today, listen here.
Photo credit: Copyright: frenta / 123RF Stock Photo