Start Saving for Christmas in July to Avoid the January Blues
We know, we know – who wants to start thinking about Christmas when we’ve just started to enjoy the summer? It’s true: chilly temperatures, candy canes, and carols are six months away and we’re definitely not trying to wish away the summer, but there is one good reason to think about Christmas in July: it gives you more time to save.
The traditions of Christmas come with a price tag: gifts, entertaining, decorations, and food aplenty. Wouldn’t it be great to put away a little bit of money each week to pay for all the necessities and trappings of the season without relying on credit cards come December? The last thing you want to start the new year is a hefty credit card bill.
Setting a budget is key.
Anticipate what your expenses will be and then divide the amount you’ll need to save by the number of weeks until Christmas. For example, if you start saving only $42 a week starting at the beginning of July, you’ll have $1000 set aside for Christmas! How much you need to save will depend on your holiday season obligations but have a look at last year’s expenses and you can get a ballpark figure. And, if you come in under budget, you’ll have a little extra cash which is never a bad thing.
Keep your Christmas money separate.
Whether it’s a separate account or an envelope in your desk, you’ll want to make sure your Christmas savings are kept separately from your other money. If it’s all in the same place, it’s easy to reallocate those savings to other expenses without even realizing it.
Keep your eyes peeled for deals
No one says you have to wait until December to do all your Christmas shopping. In fact, we recommend that you don’t. Not only will starting early save the stress of navigating the crowded malls, but adding items to your wish list early lets you take advantage of any off-season sales that may happen. The Christmas season can be a stressful and emotional time of year for many people. But debt doesn’t have to be one of the factors contributing to your stress. Just a few dollars a week and some strategizing can make a big difference.