CHRISTMAS SAVINGS CHALLENGE – SAVE NOW
3 Christmas Savings Challenges When Holiday Season Is Upon Us
If you are looking for a Christmas Savings Challenge because you haven’t quite started saving for it yet, we have your back. Here are 3 money challenges to help you save $1200 – $1500 before Xmas. We also have a few actionable ways to help you find the money in your tight budget that you can save.
How is it September already? I cannot believe we are almost done with three-quarters of the year.
Pay a visit to Target and you see fall decor all over. Pumpkins, fall colors, Halloween ghosts, and spiders are out and about everywhere asking to be bought and taken home. And then there is Christmas stuff that has started to make its appearance already.
With everything happening it is super easy to want to buy everything and let your budget fall by the wayside.
But you don’t want that to happen, do you?
You have worked super hard at being frugal each month and sticking to your plan. Yes, money hasn’t been easy but you have managed.
But amidst the all of this, you have not been able to save for Christmas. You meant to start a sinking fund for it but your best intentions remained just that – intentions.
If you find yourself in a fix on what to do, here are 3 money saving challenges to force yourself to save money periodically to build up some Christmas savings.
Are you ready for your Christmas money challenge 2019?
A few other posts you may like to read:
- Your step-by-step guide to sinking funds.
- How to track your sinking funds (free printable sinking funds tracker template).
- Fixed vs growth: How our mindset shapes the way we manage our money.
- Why some people just can’t save money and how to change that.
Start By Making A Budget For The Holidays
Holidays can be such a drain on your finances. However, having a plan for your spending can save you from burning a hole in your pocket and enjoying your holiday.
You can read more about how to make a budget for the holidays in an article on this blog.
Once you know how much you need to save, you can start saving.
3 Christmas Savings Challenges To Fund Your Christmas Spending
A free printable tracker template for each of these challenges is available in my resource library. Get access to the money savings chart (and other free printable) here.
#1. $1500 in 3 months
This was the savings challenge I did in 2018 when suddenly around this time of the year realization dawned upon me that I had not saved a penny to buy gifts for the holidays or any new decor.
On the first of each month put aside $500 into a cash envelope. Do this till December and you will have $1500 to spend in December. What say?
I find it easier to put aside a significant sum at the beginning of the month when I am setting up my budget for the entire month. That way I know what areas I need to reduce my spending to be able to save a significant chunk of money each month.
It is not easy to save $500 when your budget is already tight. If that is too much for you then think of how much you can afford to spend, divide that amount by the 3 months you have remaining. That is the amount you need to save each month.
For example, if you think $1000 is enough for you for all your Christmas spending, you can reduce the amount you put aside to $350 each for October and November and $300 in December.
The idea is that it is better to come up with the money you plan to spend in 3 months rather than one month.
#2. $1500 in 15 weeks
This is a weekly savings plan where you save $100 each week till Christmas.
As of the publishing of this article, Christmas is 15 weeks away. So if your Christmas budget it $1500 you should put aside $100 each week. Pick a day (say Sunday) and take $100 from your wallet and put it into a separate envelope.
If you use have a designated savings account, then each Sunday morning transfer $100 into it.
For those who can afford to put aside 75 bucks each week, you will accumulate $1200 by the time Christmas rolls in.
This is the ideal Christmas savings challenge for those who get paid weekly. Or for those who plan to take up a side hustle to earn some extra bucks for the holidays. They can aim to earn a $100 for their sinking fund.
#3. $1500 in 12 weeks
Want to save $1500 before December starts? Then this is the savings plan for you.
Like the previous one, this is a weekly savings challenge, too. The difference is that there is a difference in the amount saved each week.
Many people find it easier to save more earlier on in the month and can afford to put aside only very little as the month draws to a close.
Pick whichever one you think works best for you and you should have a fair amount saved by Christmas.
And remember, printable trackers are available in my free resource library
Can’t Afford This Christmas Savings Challenge?
What if you can’t find the $100 extra dollars in your budget each week or even $75? Here are some ways to help you save money for Christmas
1. Cut back on the fall and Halloween budget.
Okay, this might be tough especially if every trip to the stores means walking by all the displays and the aisles full of stuff.
Each time you find yourself being tempted, think of Christmas and your plans for it. Use the things you already own to decorate your house for this fall. Or do a little DIY with things that you can find around your home. And how about swapping your last year’s Halloween outfits with friends so you don’t repeat them.
Here are some ideas using stuff from the Dollar Store.
2. Keep your home AC and heating in control
It is still lovely weather to be outdoors. Take advantage of it. Switch off the AC during the day or when the house is empty.
Before winter sets in, take time to check for worn-out seals and heat escapes. These will substantially cut down on your heating and cooling bills, allowing you to save that money for Christmas.
3. Check and close out any zombie subscriptions to cut down on expenses
Carefully go through your checking account and credit card statements to look for recurring automatic debits for stuff you no longer use – online tools, apps, streaming services, gyms.
If you haven’t used it for the past month or two, chances are you have no time or need for it. You have moved on from that subscription. In either scenario, you should stop paying for the subscription.
If you need it later, you can always restart it. Who knows, maybe they might even offer you a discount to get you back. When I stopped my subscription to an audiobook company, they came back to me offering me 3-months at one-third their regular price. Happy me.
4. Sell unused items and earn extra bucks
As you start to pack away your summer wardrobe and bring out the fall jackets look carefully to see if there are clothes you did not wear at all. Go through your shoes and accessories drawers too. If these are in good condition, why not sell them and make a few extra bucks.
Also, look around the house for electronics, mobile phones, furniture, children’s toys, books.
Today you have a tonne of ways to sell them. Whereas earlier garage sales were the way to get rid of extra stuff lying around your house now you so many more options. Craigslist and Facebook are just the top of the list.
Here are 65 places to sell your stuff online.
5. Find a side hustle to earn extra money for Christmas Savings Challenge
If you can’t cut back on your expenses you can always try to earn extra money. There are tonnes of ways to earn extra income. Making extra money can help you save more money for the holidays and other celebrations, help you pay for holiday expenses and have more holiday cash.
Christmas is the time when tonnes of temporary holiday jobs open up. If you have the time then look out for job openings at stores, malls, Christmas tree lots, delivery services. Many of them are looking at temporary help to get them through the busy period.
Other ways to have a side hustle include:
- becoming a driver at Uber or Lyft
- becoming a freelancer at Fiverr, Upwork, etc. (writer, virtual assistant, transcribe, proofread)
- perform tasks for friends and neighbors (babysitter, dog walker, hang up lights, edit videos
- become a deliverer at UberEats, Postmates, etc
- become a website user tester at User Testing
The Work At Home Woman has some more options for you to earn extra income for this Christmas.
6. There is plenty of smart advice out there.
The internet is full of a lot of smart advice on how you can save on your gifts, have a frugal but fun holiday season, figure out how much you can afford to spend this season.
There are two ways I can help you do that.
#1. Last year I curated some of the best financial advice to enjoy a stress-free Christmas on a budget.
#2. Follow my Christmas On a Budget Pinterest Board for some great articles from around the blogosphere.
? It is still not too late to save money for Christmas. Start now.
? These challenges are there to help you stay on track and achieve your goals. Choose the savings plan that works best for you. If needed, adjust them for the amount YOU can afford to save.
? For some of you, it may not be easy to find the money you need to put aside. It may require extra effort to cut down on expenses, find and eliminate wasteful spending or to earn additional money. However, it is possible.
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Which is the money saving challenge that works best for you?