On the 25th of every month from January to November, I'm holding a viral meeting for the Christmas Savings Club, a monthly accountability to help us save for a cash Christmas. Today is the first meeting!
As outlined in the first post, your goal this past month was to create a budget for your Christmas spending. Once you have a gift budget for 2013 that you are comfortable with, divide that number by eleven. That final number will be your goal to save each month between now and November 25, 2013. I'm also offering FREE Christmas Gift & Spending Budget excel spreadsheet, click that link for more information.
Creating a Christmas spending budget in January really made me conscious of where that money was going to come from. We have a gift-giving line in our budget, but when I sat down to create my own budget, I realized that our original amount just didn't cover all of the expenses from this past year. Also, the January-September months are so far away from when I do our actual Christmas shopping (Nov & Dec) that that money often times gets shifted towards other gift giving expenses, like birthdays. I've never been diligent about transferring the Christmas money into a separate account.
So, how did I do in January?
My monthly goal is $100. That number includes gifts for our kids, extended family members, teachers, friends, neighbors, bus drivers, service people, our Christmas cards, stamps, and our donations towards the Salvation Army's Adopt-a-Family program.
I'll be honest, this month was tough for me. Coming off of December, our extra funds were a bit low after paying for this past Christmas. I found half of the money from our spare change jar that is on my desk.
Our bank offers free change counting. It's awesome.
I'm using a savings account that was used previously for another goal. It had $10 left in the balance, so I'm including that in my monthly total. So I still need $40 for this month. I'm not too nervous about being behind after the first month. I have a plan for February.
By our next meeting on February 25, your first assingment is to open up a designated savings account specifically for your Christmas savings. Personally, I opened up a separate ING Direct online savings account for our Christmas savings. I like ING, because it is not easily accessible for me. The money needs to be transferred to and from your brick and mortar bank.
You also need to think about how you're going to pull together February's funds and make up for any shortfall in January. I'm going to do a pantry challenge in February to raise my funds. It's been years since I've done a challenge, but it was extremely successful for me. I'll let you know in February how it works out.
How did you do?
In the comments, let us know if you worked on a 2013 Christmas Spending budget and calculated a monthly savings goal. You don't have to divulge your goal, but please let us know if you were able to save the money. Also let us know how you saved the money.
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