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Savings Plan for Christmas! Today we have a guest post written by Stacy B Miller from money website, Kiss Your Money. Find her also on Facebook and Twitter. Enjoy!
With less than one month remaining for Christmas, it’s high time that you create a Christmas savings plan to protect your finances. While 2020 has been a year full of shocks and terrifying news, people are already looking forward to Christmas for spending lovely moments with their families.
Christmas is the time when people think less about money and more about gifts. They want to give lovely gifts to their family, friends, and relatives. They spend more than what their budget is and rack up credit card debt during the holidays. The result is disastrous for their bank balance. Many people can’t pay off their credit card bills within the due date and accumulate debt during the holidays.
No matter how much we love our family and friends, we also have to think about our financial wellbeing. Otherwise, it will be difficult to survive after the holidays, especially when there is a global recession. Experts are constantly stressing over the fact that we have to create an emergency fund to survive in 2021. So does it mean that you can’t buy gifts for your loved ones this Christmas? It doesn’t necessarily have to be like that. You can still shop for your loved ones. But you have to be careful. You have to create a Christmas savings plan and stay away from the holiday debt.
Why do you need a Christmas savings plan in the first place?
- A Christmas savings plan helps you to shop for your loved ones without incurring debt.
- Christmas savings plans help to protect your finances.
- Christmas savings plans help you to start the New Year on a good financial note.
- Such savings plans help you to shop as per your affordability.
How to create a Christmas savings plan to avoid holiday shopping debt.
So how can you create a Christmas savings plan? Let us find out in the below-given section.
1. Create a holiday shopping budget
You have only one month left in your hand for Christmas shopping. Look at your income and monthly expenses quickly. Are you saving any money every month? Have you saved any money this year? Based on the answers to these questions, create a budget for holiday shopping. If you have not saved a penny for Christmas shopping, then you have to stash cash from now onwards.
Create a small budget for Christmas this year. Allot an amount that you can spend without depending on credit cards. If you have an online savings account, then you can stash cash there every day. Remember, Christmas shopping is an additional expense, and in 2020 there is no room for frivolous expenses. So you have to set a minimum amount that you can spend this Christmas.
If you want to spend a substantial amount on Christmas shopping, then you have to earn extra money in the next few days.
So, the next question is…
How can you earn extra money for holiday shopping? Well, there are a couple of ways to make extra money for holiday shopping. Here are a few of them.
- You can participate in paid online surveys and get paid for your valuable opinion. So search for those websites where you can get paid for giving your valuable feedback.
- A couple of websites give free gift cards for watching videos. So you can register on those websites, watch videos, and earn gift cards for holiday shopping.
- If you have any valuable items that you don’t need anymore, then you can sell those stuff online and earn money.
- You can work as a freelancer for the next few days to make quick money online.
- Cut down your unnecessary expenses to generate free cash for holiday shopping. Your monthly budget will help you discover the areas where you are spending unnecessarily every month.
- Negotiate with your service providers and insurers to get better deals. Many service providers are offering lucrative offers due to the pandemic. All you have to do is research and find out the better deals available for the same services.
You can download various budgeting apps on a smartphone to create your holiday budget. These budgeting apps make the task of creating a budget plan easy and simple. All you need to do is enter a few numbers into the budgeting apps, and they will do the rest of the work for you. You can track and monitor your budget anytime you want.
When you are making the holiday budget, make sure you include all kinds of expenses. It includes not only gifts but also food, decorations, gift wrapping papers, shipping fees, etc.
2. Decide whom you want to give Christmas gifts
Create a list of the people to whom you want to give gifts this year. Make sure these people are the ones whom you love and adore. There is no place for formality this year. Keep your list short and simple.
There are a few people in our life whom we love to give presents during the festive time. You can always give gifts to them, but eliminate the people whom you usually give gifts as a token of courtesy or a formality.
Don’t feel bad if you can’t give gifts to everybody. Most people are in your shoes. They have also suffered financially this year, and they would understand if you don’t send any present to them this Christmas.
You have already created your budget. So now you have to think about how you can give gifts to these people within your budget. If your holiday budget is 200 euros, and the list contains ten people, then you can spend 10 euros on each person. Start thinking about the gifts that you can give within this amount. If you can’t find a suitable gift within your budget, then you can make something in your home. Last year I made cookies and brownies for my loved ones, and they enjoyed them thoroughly. I am planning something of that sort this year too.
3. Start your holiday shopping
Browse the online shopping portals to buy gifts for your loved ones within your budget. Watch out for the sale offers on online holiday shopping. Many websites give discounts on various items for Christmas. You can choose your items from there. Also you can use coupons for Christmas shopping. You can download various extensions in your browser to get notifications about the coupon codes. Use those coupons for Christmas shopping to save money. You can also clip coupons from the newspapers and use them for shopping.
Whenever you are doing online shopping, make sure you compare the price of the items in various online shopping portals to get the best deal. You can also shop from cashback websites to use cashback credit cards to save money on Christmas gifts.
When is the best time to create a Christmas savings plan?
The best time to create a Christmas service plan is in January. There are Christmas clubs where you can join and save money throughout the year. You can save a certain amount each month and use it for Christmas shopping. The best part of Christmas clubs is that you can’t use the money or withdraw your funds until a few weeks before Christmas. So you can’t use the saved money for any other purpose than Christmas shopping.
You can get gift vouchers for Christmas shopping or shop from the club. It is up to you how you want to spend the saved money on Christmas shopping.
You can also save money in an online savings account that offers high-interest rates. It would help you to meet your savings goals and grow your money gradually. But make sure you do not use the funds for frivolous expenses.
A word of wisdom
In spite of your best efforts, if you incur credit card debt due to holiday shopping, then take prompt steps to eliminate it before you enter 2021. You can consolidate your credit card debt to save money and pay back your creditors. You can also request creditors to give you some time to pay your bills. Although credit card companies are giving payment holidays to consumers due to the pandemic, it would be wrong to take advantage of that intentionally for holiday shopping. Think from this perspective. You have to pay off credit card debt now or later. So isn’t it better to pay it off now and avoid the emotional stress that comes with unpaid debt?
Christmas shopping is a major expense for everyone. It is the reason behind burgeoning holiday debt every year. But 2020 is an extraordinary year where people are already in a financial crunch. If you are wise, then you are less likely to risk your financial life further by shopping recklessly this holiday season. Create a Christmas savings plan now because it is better late than never. Stash cash in your savings plans to celebrate the biggest festival of the year without incurring credit card debt.
Happy shopping and Merry Christmas in advance!
For more ways to save money, click here.