Money Saving Monday Tip #17 – Saving for Christmas

By glblguy

 

Black Friday

Photo by English Invader

The big shopping time of the year starts this Friday or Black Friday as it is often called. It’s called black Friday as it is one of the biggest shopping days of the year, and frequently moves retailers from “in the red” to “in the black” from an earnings and profit perspective.

Until this year, we were always scrambling to come up with enough money for Christmas gifts and frequently relied on our credit cards to get us through.

This year though, we are paying cash. Starting in January, we opened an ING Direct savings account and named it Christmas Savings. I then set-up and automated transfer each paycheck directly to our Christmas savings account. This is a really simple tip, and on the surface seems really obvious, but as I talk to people I am finding that very few people actually do this. I’ve found most people intend to do this, but just don’t.

I think making the savings automatic is the key to success. If you rely on yourself to transfer it, you won’t. Making it automatic causes you to not have to think about it, and honestly makes you almost forget about it.

We chose to transfer $100/paycheck or $200/month. So currently we have a little over $1,200 allocated specifically for Christmas spending. I say a little over $1,200 as we incurred interest throughout the year as well, another nice side benefit.

I can’t express how nice it is to enter the Christmas season and not have to worry and wonder about how we are going to pay for it. Don’t get me wrong, we don’t overindulge or overspend at Christmas, but we do spend much more than usual during the Christmas season.

If you don’t have a Christmas savings account, go ahead and set on up right now. You can schedule your automated transfers to start in January, and then you won’t even have to think about it. This time next year you’ll have a nice spending account for Christmas.

Do you have a Christmas Savings account? How do you save for Christmas? Share your tips via a comment!

If you are interested in setting up an ING Direct account, let me know and I’ll send you a referral. That will get you a free $25 when you deposit more than $250 into the account.


9 Responses (including trackbacks) to “Money Saving Monday Tip #17 – Saving for Christmas”

  1. Mrs. Micah Says:

    That’s amazing! $1200 should be fine for a Christmas (though you do have a lot of kids…). And it’s so much better than spending $1200+interest from credit cards and stuff. :)

  2. glblguy Says:

    Thanks. The best part was once we had it automatic, we didn’t even really miss it. You’re right too,$1200, not far with 6 kids. Fortunately they all want an XBox 360 to fight over…opps I mean share :-)

  3. paidtwice Says:

    My spouse gets paid biweekly, so there are two months that he gets paid three times. One of those months has always so far been November or December.

    We used to use the extra winter paycheck to pay for Christmas. this year we are still doing so, but we’ve committed to only using $500 of it instead of the whole thing (~$1200 in past years). Hopefully that goes well.

    We don;t have 6 kids though and actually we aren’t buying much for the kids (they’re little and get too many presents from their grandparents). it is my inlaws that will cost me a fortune lol.

  4. TV Girl Says:

    As soon as I started a budget earlier this year, saving for Christmas was one of the first things I did. I love Christmas shopping, and it’s such a relief to know exactly where that money is coming from.

  5. Marcia Stehouwer Says:

    Our family has managed to keep it very simple. We purchase one gift, usually a game or puzzle, that is gifted to the whole family. For a few years each adult got a room from the Clue game, and had to buy a gift (one per family) for that particular room. I make a family calendar, which is surprisingly expensive, for 12 families, and an ornament for each of my nieces and nephews.

    Within the family I try to give my DD something she wants, something she needs, something to learn from, and something for her spiritual walk. The stocking includes a magazine, shaving cream (Name brand) and those Venus razors. (How I wish I’d never bought the first one!)

    I think I’m going to try your way next year!

  6. glblguy Says:

    Thanks for the great comments and stories all.

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