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It’s nearly that time of year; summer fun is over, school has begun, and the echoes of bored children have faded away. It’s the perfect time to start thinking about the holidays!
Your bank account can take a big hit during the holidays. If you’re not ready with some extra money saved for it, you may be tempted to do your holiday shopping with plastic, but that’s something you should avoid, Borrowing money to give gifts is a recipe for disaster.
If you can come up with money dedicated just for the holidays, you can avoid using credit cards and even plan and budget wisely. It’s easy to become caught up in the fun of giving during the holiday season. However, if you can stick to your guns and spend only what you’ve allotted yourself to spend, you won’t be hit with a harsh reality when the holidays are over.
1. Open a Savings Account Just for Your Holiday Savings
Add to it often and resist the urge to dip into it before the holidays!
2. Set Up an Automatic Transfer from Your Checking Account to Your Holiday Savings Account
Even $10 a week could equate to a couple hundred dollars by the time December arrives.
3. Set Up a Change Jar
Don’t use exact change to pay for anything; instead, put all your change in a jar. You’ll be surprised how quickly it adds up.
4. Use a Savings App
5. Cut Costs
Look for ways to save money on monthly bills, such as finding a less expensive auto insurance or mobile phone service, switching to a cheaper cable package (or dropping it altogether), and canceling newspaper, magazine, or game subscriptions. Look at your monthly payments and see where you can reduce or eliminate.
6. Sell Stuff
Summer and fall are the perfect time to clean-out and have a yardsale. If you don’t have a good location, or the thought of committing a full day to selling stuff on your lawn doesn’t appeal to you, place ads for your stuff on sites such as Facebook, eBay, and Craigslist.
7. Make a Gift List Now
By giving yourself time to plan and consider the right gift for each person on your list, you’ll buy thoughtful gifts that fit their recipients, and you’ll have lots of time to shop for the best price.
8. Use Your Rewards Programs
If you regularly use credit cards, see what you have in points. Many cards allow you to cash points in for gift cards to stores and restaurants, all of which make great gifts!
9. Tighten Your Spending Belt
Give up that morning latte, shop at thrift stores, watch movies at home instead of at the theater, and start packing a lunch for work every day. By making a few changes in your daily habits, you could save a considerable amount before the holidays arrive. If you’re saving $5 a day by bringing your own coffee each weekday, be sure to put $5 a day in your savings account.
10. Get a Side Job
Work a couple nights a week and have that income directly deposited into your dedicated holiday bank account.
The best part about saving for the holidays now is that you’re not only saving money; you’re also saving yourself some stress. The holidays can be stressful enough without worrying about how you’re going to pay for everything.
Avoid the credit card debt and the stress; start saving for the holidays now!