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Tuesday Tip | There are 42 weeks until Christmas.

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I know Christmas is a weird thing to think about in March.

But if you start doing something now to prepare for the holidays, you could save yourself a lot of financial stress in December. And January. 😉

My primary recommendation: Start a Christmas/holiday savings account and add $10/week. Do that from now thru Christmas and you will have $420* plus a little interest.

Ten dollars a week is pretty painless, and having a stash of Christmas cash in December is fantastic.

If $10 a week feels hard to find (been there!), you could:

  • Open a Swagbucks account or dust off your current one. You have plenty of time to earn a gift card or two before Christmas.
  • Sell some of your clutter on Facebook marketplace or eBay, and put the proceeds in your Christmas account.
  • Eat meatless once or twice a week and put the grocery savings in your account.
  • Have a freezer or pantry challenge and set aside the saved money.
  • Try to catch yourself when you consider an unnecessary purchase. Stop and ask yourself if you’d rather save that money for Christmas. If the answer is yes, deposit that amount into the Christmas account.
  • Find a bill that you can cut or eliminate, then funnel that money to the Christmas account. (Could you trim an entertainment bill? Could you switch cell phone services to something like Ting (which we love!)? )

Readers, do you have a suggestion to help others save up for Christmas?

*I do realize that $420 will probably not cover most people’s Christmas expenses entirely.  But it will certainly help, and it is definitely better than having $0.

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Diane

Thursday 14th of March 2019

I often find new items at thrift shops. I will put them away and give a group of them for a gift. Everyone is wowed over with the gift collection that just cost me several dollars. They think I spent a lot of dollars of the gift collection. I always look for items that look new and with tags

David

Thursday 7th of March 2019

Wow, only 42 weeks, I’ll Never get ready in time! My wife collects gifts throughout the year. Usually by August she has got everything. But then she still sees those “perfect” gifts fir you know who. So she buys more. Then in December it is time to start wrapping - and we can’t find the gifts!! So now it is a mad rush to buy gifts and wrap them. Then she finds the lost gifts!! So they get put back for next year! We have enough lost gifts to last for years. Oh to be organized like Kristen.

Kristyna

Wednesday 6th of March 2019

This is such a great idea! $10 is doable for many people and if not, $5 works too!

Even if you're not spending a whole lot on presents, there are other holiday expenses at that time of year you could use that $420 for. Think special baking and meals, travel, fancier clothes that may be needed and extra room for giving! (There are usually extra opportunities to be generous around Christmastime.)

Other ideas to save:

Stash away any change you receive in a jar until December. (Think $5 or less)

Pick up a small job and save that money! (Mowing a neighbor's lawn, taking care of someone's pet while they're out of town, delivering papers, watching a kid or two after school.)

Start a Go-fund-me for Christmas expenses. (just kidding ;) )

Colleen

Tuesday 5th of March 2019

We try to keep Christmas gifts to things we really need. Our daughter is a student, so there’s always something she needs. Our Christmas shopping list is very short. We no longer exchange gifts with friends or my husband’s family (his family lives a few provinces away). With my family, we have really cut back. Now the cousins are almost all adults, they might have a fun gift exchange, but not always. One year we played bingo, everyone put in $20 and the winner gave the money to a charity of her/his choice. We will probably do that again.

Amy

Tuesday 5th of March 2019

My family and all my siblings families decided about six years ago that we did not want to exchange gifts at Christmas and that we would play bingo and buy bingo prizes instead. We usually have around 20 people that play and it is so fun. The gifts are not expensive, movie candy, $5 Starbucks gift card, coffee mug, bottle of wine. Everyone brings several gifts and we bring food and play bingo and have some fun family time. Way less stress and way more fun!

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