Do you save for Christmas or prefer not to think about it until November?
I know it may seem a long way away but the sooner you start saving for Christmas the better.
Because before you know it, Christmas will be next week and you’re trying to cram in last minute shopping and your budget is out of control.
Saving for Christmas might seem silly when it’s so far away, and really, you don’t spend that much on Christmas gifts do you??
I’ve learned the hard way that I have to plan in advance otherwise I get caught up in all the Christmas hype and get carried away with buying fun Christmas decorations and food gifts galore.
I didn’t used to like saving money for Christmas for many reasons, but the biggest reason was I disliked Christmas!
Why save for it when I actually dislike Christmas, the holiday season and everything that gets wrapped up in it? And have to think about it months before it actually happened?
Why I Didn’t Save For Christmas
Much of my Christmas dislike was tied up in the whole food thing.
In my family we had to sit around the Christmas dinner table for hours on end with food nibbles and snacks within reach and the adults all chatting about boring stuff.
I ended up stuffing myself with food due to boredom as I wasn’t allowed to leave the table, watch TV or not be sociable. As a teenage girl, overeating was an issue for me so Christmas became an issue.
Needless to say I do not have any of those traditions now that I am a grown up!
On top of my active dislike I also had these thoughts:
- it’s so far away – I can save later on
- it’s not essential spending, better to save for future car repairs
- I don’t spend that much (oh really?!)
- I won’t buy for so many people this year
- I’m still paying off last year
- its just a big roast dinner so no real extra cost
- no need to buy all the nibbles as this year we’re going to be healthy
- we can pay for it with October and November’s wages
But Christmas does happen every year and I eventually recognized that I needed to learn how to start saving for Christmas, look into Christmas saving plans and create a budget.
I was causing myself more stress not planning for and ignoring all the Christmas saving tips that are out there to help you and I.
Christmas saving tips
When should you start saving for Christmas?
The sooner you start saving for Christmas the less money you need to put aside each paycheck. If you don’t save for Christmas, you’ll end up with credit card debt in January.
Which could then take a few months to pay off, which will stop you from being able to save money for Christmas the following year.
Saving for Christmas in January
Why not put money aside from january? January is the perfect time to start your Christmas saving plan. You have 52 weeks to achieve your savings goal. Saving money for Christmas weekly, when you have 52 of them means each weekly payment can be quite small.
Whereas if you start saving for Christmas in September you might have only 10 weeks to save. So you have to put aside 5x more each week to save the same amount.
How do you want to feel next january? How great will it feel to not have any debt in January as a result of Christmas purchases? You can start the new year with a clean slate. It makes saving up for Christmas that much easier.
Saving for Christmas in November
November is really not the best month to start saving for Christmas. When you are thinking how to start saving for Christmas in November you have as little as 6 weeks to save money. Money that you then need to spend very quickly in the 2 weeks before Christmas Day.
But! Starting in November is still better than waiting until December and putting all your spending on your credit card. If you are starting this November then please try to keep your overall festive budget small.
How much should you save for Christmas?
Ideally you want to save enough money to cover the cost of all your holiday spending. Gifts, decor, food and travel for instance. Setting out your budget and savings goal, how much you plan on spending, will show you how much you should save for Christmas.
What is the best way to save for Christmas?
The best way to save for Christmas is to start early and to be consistent. If you can start in January all the better.
Saving money for Christmas weekly
Or every time you get paid is the best way to save. It quickly becomes a habit. You know that a little bit of every paycheck is going into your savings account for Christmas. And yes, a separate savings account for Christmas is a good thing to have.
7 tips to start saving money For Christmas
ONE – Who Are You Buying For this year?
Might seem a simple question but often you forget until it’s gift buying time just how many people you usually buy for.
Make a list of everyone you usually buy for.
If it’s more than 20 people you might want to reconsider whether a present for everyone is really necessary.
Are you exchanging gifts just for the sake of it? Could you do cards instead or secret Santa/token presents?
Related posts: How to Buy Xmas Gifts – When You’re On a Tight Budget
TWO – Budget Per Person
Next you should identify what your Xmas gift budget is for every person on your list.
This is the maximum you intend to spend not the minimum.
Your budget will likely depend on whether they are close family, friends or distant relatives you meet at Christmas time only.
Total everything up and see how much you think you plan on spending on Christmas gifts alone.
Remember this doesn’t include food, days out, fuel for travelling over the holidays, cards and wrap.
THREE – what can i afford to spend? Amend Your Budget
What you want to spend this holiday season and what you can afford to spend are often very different amounts.
If your total comes as a bit of a shock (mine usually does) then now is the time to be honest with yourself and cut those figures down.
£20 might buy a nice present for Aunty Flo, but so will £10. Repeat this across your gift list and you have some immediate savings. Amending your budget, before you start spending, helps you get off on the right foot. Amending it part way through your Christmas planning is not as effective.
What you can afford to spend is the money you have saved up and can afford to spend without getting into debt.
Find out how the Festive Money Binder can transform your Christmas budget:
FOUR – how can i start saving money for christmas? Planning
Now you know what your gift budget is, you need a plan on how you are going to save for Christmas.
How else are you going to be able to afford these gifts without going into debt?
If you are starting in January then the easiest way to save for Christmas is to divide your gift budget by 12 and save 1/12 that amount every month.
If it’s not January when you start saving for Christmas, then for this 1st year you need to work out how many months are left before Christmas and divide your gift budget by those months. e.g.
- In July you have 6 months to save your gift budget of $500.
- $500/6 months = $84 you need to save each month
- In January you would have 12 months to save $500 so the maths would be:
- $500/12 months = $42 per month savings
How can I save $1000 for christmas?
If $1000 is your savings goal then you need to work out how many paychecks from now until early December you have. Then divide $1000 by the number of paychecks and that is how much you need to save for Christmas every time you get paid.
Related post: The Perfectly Simple 12 Week Christmas Savings Plan
FIVE – open a Christmas Savings Account
Don’t keep your holiday season money in your bank checking account. Put your savings into a separate account which is purely for Christmas.
That way you won’t be tempted to touch it and the money won’t get spent on something else.
SIX – make free or cheap money saving gifts for Christmas
Make your own homemade gifts and you can immediately reduce your holiday spending. Instead of spending $20 on one gift, you might be able to make one for $5, or even less.
One of my favorite money saving ideas for Christmas gifts is the gift of time. This will cost you nothing at all except your time in the future. Create homemade gift cards which detail the gift of time you are giving.
For instance you might make gift cards for babysitting, a few gardening hours or taking over a home cooked meal. Friends and family appreciaite the personal touch that this type of gift giving brings.
For more cheap money saving gifts for Christmas check out these posts:
SEVEN- Use shop Loyalty Cards and credit cards
Many stores have their own loyalty cards that offer rewards when you use them. Save these reward points and use them for your holiday season spending – free money!
Many credit cards offer cashback on your spending. It takes a little while but it can add up to a fair bit of money over the year. Save all your credit card cashback to use over the holiday season.
I have a credit card that gives me 1% on some of my shopping and am saving all the cashback to spend in November and December.
I already have £65 which will help pay for a few gifts.
Check out how the Festive Money Binder can help you here:
Keep It Up saving for next christmas
Once you’ve worked out how to start saving for Christmas make sure you continue it from January next year.
It becomes an easy habit and doesn’t cost very much when spread out over the whole year.
Since I started saving every month I have felt much better about Christmas.
I still don’t love it but I definitely don’t actively dislike it!
For more help in stretching your money this Christmas, these posts will help:
Last Updated on 9th March 2022 by Emma