Christmas is a huge holiday in the USA, with millions of people across the country celebrating it.
From spending cash on food to buying gifts for everyone, your bank account can quickly drop to zero. Americans often fail to prepare for the celebration in advance and then either generate debt or end up disappointed.
All this is easily avoided with a good Christmas saving plan!
Read further to discover nine tested ways for a worry-free holiday. Learn how to put money aside every week and find tricks on scooping cheap gift deals.
Table of Contents
- 1 9 Quick Ways To Start Saving For A Debt-Free Christmas
- 2 Don’t Forget To Make A Christmas Spending Budget
- 3 How To Save For Christmas – Final Thoughts
9 Quick Ways To Start Saving For A Debt-Free Christmas
When it comes to Christmas, you need to be smart and prepare weeks in advance. Rather than waiting for a last-minute solution, you need a good strategy that won’t hurt your budget in the long run.
There isn’t a single best way to save money for Christmas. Instead, we listed nine creative ways to boost your saving game for a debt-free holiday.
Start Saving Early
The first thing you must do is start saving early. Rather than putting aside 40% of your weekly paychecks right before Christmas, consider saving around 10-15% by starting right now. By setting aside a lower amount of cash each week, your lifestyle won’t suffer because of the upcoming holiday. Meaning, you will be able to cover all your bills, eat well, and avoid generating debt.
Saving money for Christmas weekly and at least five weeks before the date is the best thing you can do for your budget. It’s easy, quick, and painless.
Not sure how to save cash quickly? Well, here are a few tested ways to do so:
- Buy second-hand items.
- Control spending triggers.
- Cancel paid memberships you never use.
- Try short-term investing.
- Purchase generic items rather than branded ones.
- Cook meals from leftovers.
- Visit kids-eat-free restaurants.
- Try to repair a broken washing machine by yourself.
- Collect change in a jar.
Christmas Savings Club
Christmas Clubs first appeared in the 20th century and were offered by banks during the holiday season. These help customers to create an individual savings account, so they have enough money to do their Xmas shopping.
These days, even companies have their own Christmas savings club and empower employees to put money aside every week. If you have access to this type of a club, offered by your employer or your bank, you should join it.
Here are some US banks and credit unions that have their own Christmas Club offers:
- United Bank
- Fidelity Bank
- Chase Bank
- Citizens National Bank
- South Carolina Federal Credit Union
Create A Christmas Automatic Savings Account
Instead of signing up for last-minute Christmas loans that usually come with bad terms, you can create an automatic savings account. Most banks offer them, meaning they enable you to save cash from each paycheck automatically.
You decide on the amount of money you wish to put aside. It can be anything as little as $20 or even $100 or more. With such an automatic Christmas savings account, you will effortlessly generate a few hundreds of dollars, perfect for your holiday shopping. The earlier you start with this, the better. By automatic savings of just $50 per month, you can have a Xmas spending budget of $600 within a year.
Shop Online For Exclusive Deals
Another great tip for growing your shopping budget is to shop online and in advance. Be patient and look for exclusive deals offered to internet shoppers only. Many stores have these, and they are perfect for purchasing gifts for a top price.
Use Coupons, Rewards, and Discounted Gift Cards
This list with tips on how to save for Christmas wouldn’t be complete without mentioning coupons, rewards, and discounted gift cards.
Coupons, for instance, get you exclusive deals on certain products. You can find them online or in flyers and magazines. Just take them with you to grab exclusive deals on various products.
When it comes to rewards, you collect these while making purchases with your credit card or presenting membership cards. Rewards mostly come as cashback between 2% and 10%. You can use these throughout the year and then spend them on your Christmas shopping.
Lastly, we have discounted and free gift cards. When you buy such vouchers, you usually receive one for free. For example, purchasing a gift voucher worth $100 can earn you $20 or $25 free. So, you can give gift cards as presents and scoop some treats for yourself along the way. Some popular places to get gift vouchers include Ebates, Ibotta App, and GiftCardGranny.
Get A Side Gig
If you can’t put aside money from your paycheck, you may need additional income. So, getting a side gig is another excellent way of saving money for Christmas weekly. Just earn the extra cash and then add it to your holiday spending budget. You can do this for as long as necessary and then enjoy the celebration debt-free.
Here are several great work from home jobs you can try even without any experience:
- Become a virtual assistant.
- Try Airbnb hosting if you have a spare room.
- Pet sit dogs and/or cats.
- Get a data entry position.
- Take paid surveys.
- Proofread content.
Start Shopping Early
Ideally, your Christmas shopping should start as early as September. This may sound surprising, but if you’re not disciplined enough to put money aside, you should spend cash on smart purchases. Make a list of gifts you plan to buy and deal with them one by one every week or so. By the time the holiday arrives, you will be prepared to enjoy it without significant expenses. This Christmas saving plan has been a real saver to millions of people, and you should try it too.
Go For Homemade or Cheap Gifts
According to a National Retail Federation survey, 33% of Americans expect to spend more than $1,000 on Xmas gifts. Only 3% stated that their spending budget for gifts was lower than $100.
You should aim at ending up in the second group by giving either homemade or cheap gifts under $10. First, make sure to categorize the presents you need to give to family members, friends, and coworkers. Naturally, the most important people will get the best treats, while the rest shouldn’t drain your budget.
From handmade candles to personalized photo coasters, you have plenty of ideas to choose from. Start these projects at least several weeks before Christmas and avoid worrying about them later.
Do A Christmas Savings Challenge
We have a challenge for everything these days. From a 30-day jogging challenge to a 6-month no sugar challenge, there is a solution for all your problems. So, it comes as no surprise that you can do a Christmas savings challenge too.
What exactly are these Xmas challenges? Well, you set an amount of money you wish to save by a specific date. It’s best to pick a date a few days before the 25th of December. Then, you decide the number of installments you wish to make towards reaching that goal. Finally, you create a calendar for tracking your progress.
To illustrate, let’s say you want to save $1,000 by the 23rd of December in 10 weeks. So, you need to put aside $100 every week to complete your objective. Every week, when you put the money in a jar or a piggy bank, you put a checkmark on your calendar.
This strategy is efficient and straightforward, so make sure to give it a go.
Don’t Forget To Make A Christmas Spending Budget
Regardless of what monthly or weekly Christmas savings plan you decide to follow, always make sure to create a budget too.
A budget is crucial in determining your spending potential and savings goal. So, basically, you need to enter all the things you plan to spend on. These most often include food, gifts, decorations, and clothes. Add price estimates to find out the bare minimum you need to put aside before Christmas knocks on your door.
Is this the first time you’re dealing with this issue? No problem! We have an excellent step-by-step guide on how to make a budget and follow it through.
How To Save For Christmas – Final Thoughts
Christmas can often turn into a nightmare for those who fail to create an appropriate spending strategy beforehand. Make sure to avoid the stress and fully enjoy the holiday by using our expert advice on having a debt-free Christmas.
These relevant ideas not only will save you for this year’s celebration, but you can use them as a Christmas saving plan in 2020 as well. After all, the holidays are for being happy and relaxed with your friends and family rather than for panicking and overspending.
Did you find our saving tips and tricks useful? Would you like to get all the latest financial advice directly into your inbox? If so, don’t forget to subscribe to our ProMoneySavings newsletter right now!