Last Updated on 3rd October 2020 by Emma
As soon as the temperature drops we immediately starting thinking Christmas, or more specifically how to save money for Christmas.
We know Christmas happens at the same time every year but life gets in the way of our grand plans to save a little money every week all year doesn’t it?
Hopefully it’s not just me!
The arrival of cooler weather is the perfect reminder of the need to start planning for the holiday season. Otherwise the default non-plan will be a debt in January you could do without.
Christmas does not have to result in debt if you take action now.
Christmas on a budget
Before you start your Christmas savings it pays to work out exactly what you want to spend, or rather, what you can afford to spend.
Christmas does not need to be expensive although it’s very easy to spend a ton of money, so a little planning in advance will help you keep control of your Christmas budget.
To work out your Christmas budget you will want to think about the following:
- Who you are buying gifts for
- Food over the festive period
- Guests you will be hosting
- Travel costs to visit others
- Christmas events, activities and party costs
- Misc costs inc Xmas wrap, postage, decorations
Decide how much you want (or can afford) to spend for each category and create your total budget from there.
For more help on creating the perfect Christmas budget for a debt free festive time check out this post:
How to save money for Christmas
1. Christmas savings Plans
The simplest way to save money for Christmas is to put aside money from every paycheck you receive from now on.
Use the Christmas budget you have worked out above to determine how much you need to save each payday.
For example, if your total Christmas budget is $500 and you have 10 paychecks still to come then you will want to put aside $50 each time. ($500/10 = $50).
Automating your savings is the easiest and most sensible way to make sure you achieve your savings goal. The AutoSave feature of Empower will help you do just that.
Create your savings goal within the app and Empower will move the money every week from your checking to your AutoSave account. If you don’t have enough money one week, Empower will wait until the following week to transfer your money.
It’s that simple!
Banking services for new accounts provided by nbkc bank, Member FDIC.
2. Save while you shop
No doubt you will be thinking more carefully about what you buy and how much you spend between now and Christmas, and quite rightly too.
It pays to be focused on your spending, this is how you can save money for Christmas without resorting to eating nothing but rice and beans.
But there is not need to not spend at all, especially when spending normally will earn you free money. Money you can turn into gift cards to use to buy Christmas gifts for free!
Drop turns your credit and debt cards into cash back cards which will earn you money every time you use them. All you need to do is download the Drop app and link your card/s.
Once linked, use your cards at Drop’s retail partners’ (includes Amazon, Costco, Walmart & Target) and earn free money. Turn the money in your Drop wallet into free gift cards from your favorite retailers.
No need to scan receipts or clip coupons, earn automatically every time you use your Drop linked card.
3. Cut back on Groceries
Over the festive period you are going to be entertaining family and friends and likely treating everyone to a few extra special foodie items.
So it makes good money saving sense to make the most of your grocery spending now and see where you can make some temporary savings.
Temporary savings such as:
- Dropping down a brand on a few items you usually buy
- Giving up one food treat you buy each week
- Cutting down on your meat portions
- Take your own lunch to work
Cutting back allows you to save the money you will later spend on Christmas. But you still have to buy groceries on a regular basis so make the most of the money you do spend by getting something back.
Scan Your Receipt Through Fetch
Fetch Rewards is a free grocery savings app that rewards you just for snapping pictures of your receipts. That’s really it.
You get free rewards on groceries on thousands of products every day, no matter where you get your groceries. Just scan your receipts to receive rewards.
In The UK? Scan Your Receipts Through The Storewards App
The Storewards app works in the same way as Fetch, all you need to do is snap pictures of your receipts.
Even better though, it allows receipts from all purchases made (in-store and online), up to 20 receipts a week, not just groceries. Plus you get a daily bonus just for logging into the app.
Use referral code l8iph to get 250 bonus coins when you sign up today.
4. Press pause on spending
It’s good to save money when you do spend but pressing pause on some of your spending is the perfect way to free up cash quickly.
I’m a great believer in no spend days as they aren’t forever, just one day. Having 2 or 3 no spend days each week between now and Christmas will help you with your savings goals for sure.
The key to making no spend days a success is to not plan all your spending around them as this can defeat your money saving efforts.
Don’t go stocking up just because you’re having 2 no spend days.
The idea of these is to reduce the amount of money you spend. To make you think twice about casually swiping your card when perhaps it’s not truly essential.
If you already incorporate no spend days into your week as a matter of course, then ramping up to the next level will help you save money for Christmas.
The next level is create your own no spend challenge, if a day or two isn’t a challenge, how about a whole week?
Reconsider your gift list
Now before you start calling me scrooge, just think about this for a minute. Christmas is not just about giving and receiving gifts.
It’s about spending time with family and friends, about giving thanks for what we have.
Do you need to be spending $20-50 on every member of your family? Does your family want you to build debt just to buy them a gift?
Why not make this year the year that you reduce your gift budget and focus on what is important to you and your family?
Many people are now using the Secret Santa method to give gifts. With Secret Santa, everyone pulls a name out of a hat and buys for that one person only.
It can be especially useful to reduce the amount you spend on the adults in your family.
Think how much you would save if you only had to buy for one adult member this Christmas?
Christmas money saving tips
Saving money in advance of Christmas will help you ensure you do not create a debt that sees you down in the dumps in January.
Let’s face it, January can be a dismal month at the best of times, you certainly don’t need a new debt to add to that dismal feeling.
Use these 5 tips to save money this Christmas and start January debt free.
- Achieve your savings goal with Empower’s AutoSave feature
- Use Drop to save while you shop
- Scan your receipts with Fetch to earn
- Use no spend days to save more
- Reduce your gift list
To track your Christmas savings grab your free copy of these Christmas savings plans
Come and follow me on Pinterest for more money saving hints and frugal tips!