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 started the year challenging myself to find the cash outside of our budget. However by late summer, I found it easier to set aside the money directly from 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.
- In August & September, I found the money within our monthly budget.
Where I found the money in October:
We owned a 2002 Honda Civic that was no longer drivable as it needed $1500 in repairs. We didn’t want to sink any money into the car, but a family member offered to take it off our hands. I happily gave it to him, we transferred the title, and I immediately called my insurance agent to take the Civic off our policy. We were refunded the unused portion of our auto insurance and put the $100 towards our Christmas savings.
We also sold our beloved pop-up camper. As much as we enjoyed our camping trips, we outgrew the camper. My husband posted it on Facebook Marketplace and it was sold in a couple of days. We put $100 of the proceeds towards our Christmas savings.
The last meeting of the club is November 25. If you’ve been working all year to set aside money, TODAY is a good time to start making notes on gift ideas, and review and update your Budget..
What to do if you have not yet started to save money for Christmas:
1. Read the very first post: Introducing the Christmas Savings Club, and write a Christmas budget. Include gifts, decor, cards, postage, party planning and prep, and any other holiday expenses you can think of. Total your list to give you an idea of how much cash you need.
I offer a FREE Christmas Budget spreadsheet to my email subscribers. Sign up for my email newsletter HERE.
2. I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but this is crunch time. Our goal is to have a cash Christmas and usually the holiday season can get a little pricey. You have 2 months to find some cash money. The good news is I have some ideas: 25 Ways to Find Money
4. Start planning for next year TODAY!
When you have a Christmas budget in mind for this year, divide that number by 12. This new number is the amount that you should add permanently to your overall household monthly budget. 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.
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!!
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. Great gifts come from the heart and don’t need to be lavish. Check out the following list of budget-friendly Christmas gift ideas: 30 Free but Thoughtful Christmas Gift Ideas
How did you do in October?
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.