Welcome to the 2019 Christmas Savings Club. The club is open to anyone who wants monthly accountability to save for a cash Christmas.
On the 25th of every month from January to November in 2019, I will hold a virtual meeting on the blog to give updates on our progress, motivate one another, and help all of us save for a cash Christmas.
My monthly goal is $100. This should cover my tentative 2019 Christmas budget that I based on what we spent in 2018. I’m challenging myself to find the cash outside of our budget. You can read the previous posts on my progress here, but here’s a recap of the variety of ways I’ve found the money since February:
- In February, I received a check from Ebates for $40.92. This is money I earned from my Christmas shopping last year, so it’s appropriate that I apply it to my Christmas savings. Read: My Ebates Review
- Also, in February, I received a check of $45 from a family member who was reimbursing us from a group gift that we took care of over the holidays. I added the check to our savings.
- In March, I added $70 in $1 bills that I had been setting aside for the past year. Last year, a friend of mine on Facebook shared that she saves $1 bills that have Federal Reserve letters that match the first letter of her kids’ names. I thought that was an interesting way to save, so I started collecting $1 with C, J, K, L. I had amassed $70 and thought it was a perfect addition to our Christmas account.
- In April, we received a small tax refund and I put $100 of our refund into our Christmas Savings account. It was a pretty easy month to find the cash.
- In May, I made money from a yard sale and put $50 towards our Christmas savings. I also earned $20 from Ibotta and $7 from Ebates, and found $23 within our May budget.
- In June, I was rather uncreative and pulled the $100 from our monthly budget.
- In July, I found $20 bill on the beach while camping, and other $80 came out of our monthly budget.
How did I do in August & September:
I’ve been focusing on our Christmas budget all year–since 1/25 when I started this club. I began the year thinking that I would only put money I found from creative resources into the savings and I was able for some of it, but now “Christmas Budget” is a permanent line item in our budget. It’s not a crazy amount when I break it down over the full year and is manageable within our budget.
We are in the home stretch! If you’ve been working all year to set aside money, now is a good time to review and update your Budget, and make a lot of notes on gift ideas.
If you have not started saving yet, review the following check list:
1. To start, read the very first post: Introducing the Christmas Savings Club, and write a Christmas budget. Divide your total by 2. This number is the monthly amount you need to save between 9/25 and 11/25.
I offer a FREE Christmas Budget spreadsheet to my email subscribers. Sign up for my email newsletter HERE.
2. If you have not done so, open up a separate checking account specifically for your Christmas Savings. I like the online bank, Capital One 360, because it connects with your local checking account, but is not quickly assessable.
3. If you came up short prior to September, find your monthly savings goal for October and any shortfall from February – September.
4. When you do have a Christmas budget in mind, divide that number by 12. This new number is the amount that you should add permanently to your overall household monthly budget. Setting money aside for Christmas needs to be a year round habit. Trust me, it makes the holidays less stressful when the money to pay for the season in in the bank!!
Need some ideas to find extra cash? I have a long list of ideas in this post: 25 Ways to Find Money
Don’t let the budget number stress you out. There is some time to get creative. The goal is to use the money that you have on hand to pay for Christmas, and not resort to using credit cards. Check out the following list of budget-friendly Christmas gift ideas:
How did you do in August & September?
In the comments, let us know how you are doing with your Christmas Spending savings. You don’t have to divulge your goal, but please let us know HOW you found or saved the money.