You might think I am mad for talking about the holiday season, I am not thinking about the summer vacation, but Christmas and all the expense that goes with that. If you are looking to have a debt free Christmas then you need to start saving as much as you can now. It will mean less each month that you have to put away compared to if you start saving in the summer, giving you greater flexibility and the power to buy the goods you want when they are at their cheapest and not wait till the last-minute and increasing your December budget to breaking point.
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Why Start Saving Now
By taking the time and planning your financial future, you are saving the stress and the worry about finding the money you need at Christmas time. It will give you peace of mind and you will be in greater control of your Christmas shopping as you have spent the time effectively saving and planning for the event.
By putting money away for future events is important, it gives you the power to increase spending on your family or to make series adjustments to how you spend the money. It no longer becomes the month of going without, or wondering what credit card to put the next bill on when there is no money left in the budget for normal monthly expenses.
It gives you more financial freedom than maybe you thought was possible, but budgeting and saving now for Christmas can make those months around that time of year easier to manage and a lot less stressful!
Different Ways To Save
It is possible to look back at your past holiday expenses and work out how much you have spent and to use this as a starting point for your future budget. For me, I know how much I spent in each category last year and I know to add a small percentage to this year to cover the costs of inflation.
- Increase in utilities
So all I do is add in my percentage increases and start saving, I divide my number by 12 because I start saving in January every year. If you are starting later, remember that your last payment comes in December, so it is important that you don’t plan on shopping with this part of the money until you reach December.
It is not always easy finding that extra money to put away to save and sometimes you might think there is no way to save any money for anything let alone the holiday season. There are other ways to save that you might not have considered.
- Reducing spending
- Eat out less
- Create a budget
- Reduce debt
Some of these ideas you might have already tried and if you still find it is not possible to save, try talking to someone to see if they can see a light at the end of the tunnel. They might be able to put you on the right path for budgeting or to help you reduce any debt that you have to free up some money each month.
It is important that you learn to say the most difficult word in any language, ‘no’ when asked if you want more credit or to spend money on an item you just can’t afford. Sticking to a budget is difficult when there is so much pressure to spend money, to borrow money and to have debt. While debt can allow you to show your responsibility to managing money, it can also have a negative impact on the amount of money you have available each month to spend on the things you need.
If you are looking for more information on creating a budget and the finer points of budgeting check out this article where I explain the process of budgeting in greater detail!
Where To Put The Money
Knowing in advance, where you will put your holiday savings money is important. I like to keep mine in the bank in a savings account while interest rates are still poor, it does mean that I am still making a little bit of interest on the money I save rather than giving it to a company to look after for me. You don’t get protection with companies that offer saving schemes, which makes saving more of a risk.
I like flexibility to spend my money on the things I want and not on items that the company has in some form chosen for me!
It is your money and you have to make it work hard for you, don’t let others dictate what they think is best, look for yourself and work out the best place for your holiday savings.
Therefore, while you might still be recovering from the last holiday season it is time to prepare and start saving for the next one, this ensures that you will have a debt-free holiday season. It will give you peace of mind and as you save you can start doing your Christmas shopping at your convenience and when the goods are at the best prices.
If you are looking for more information on budgeting then this book is great, it is by an author who I admire and is full of useful information on how to make your money work for you.