I know, I know… it isn’t even Halloween yet and I’m talking about Christmas! Don’t worry, I’m not trying to rush the year along! However, I am trying to help you save money for Christmas in 2 months so that you don’t have to put gifts on a credit card.
I don’t know anything that will make the holidays more stressful than paying for all the gifts with your credit card. Sure, you don’t have to pay for it before Christmas but do you really want to start the New Year deeply in debt? That’s not fun.
So, instead… I’d like to help you by offering you 10 ways to save for Christmas in 2 months.
10 Ways to Save for Christmas in 2 Months
- Switch to a “Cable Alternative.” Let’s face it, traditional cable is expensive. If you switch to a free or inexpensive cable alternative, you could save big. There are all kinds of streaming services that are cheaper than traditional cable and this artcile from Dave Ramsey lists 14 of them.
- Pack Your Lunch. For the next 2 months, commit to packing your lunch and put that $5 (or let’s be honest… $10) per day that you would have spent on lunch in your Christmas fund.
- Sell Some Stuff. What do you have around your house that you don’t need or want anymore? Sell it! This is nice because it gives you money towards your Christmas fund! It also frees up space in your house. Which is good in preparation for the Christmas gifts that your family will receive this year.
- Make Your PSL at Home. I know, it’s Fall and you need that pumpkin spice latte. Listen, from one coffee (& pumpkin) lover to another, I am not going to deny you of that but I will try to convince you to make it at home. Pick up some pumpkin coffee flavoring and make them at home and you will save money!
- Use Coupon (and cash back) Apps. Whether you are shopping for groceries, household items, clothing, or Christmas gifts be sure you are using coupon and cash back apps. From Ebates (now Rakuten) to iBotta to Checkout 51 and more... there are lots of cash back apps that can help you save money! I know you won’t make tons of money from the cash back in just 2 months but it all adds up over time.
- Do a Spending Freeze. Have you ever tried this? The idea is you pick a week (or two) and you commit to not buying anything that week. You can, of course, buy gas for your car or pay a bill that is due but other than that, the goal is to resist from spending money. This helps you to be able to save money and it also makes you very aware of the impulse purchases you would normally make in a week. So, pick a week and decide to have a spending freeze. Any time you think about buying something, keep track of how much it would have been and put that amount in your savings for Christmas.
- Eat Dinner at Home. I know this is the busiest time of the year and you might think… who has time to cook? I promise you that with an hour or so of prep on the weekend, you can eat at home all week. Soups are delicious, filling, and they last for several meals. It’s easy to double a batch of soup and have it multiple times in the week. What are some other quick meals that can be your go-to? Write them down and be sure you have the ingredients in the house. That way when things get busy, you don’t find yourself in the drive-thru.
- Spend less on Halloween & Thanksgiving. This time of year can get expensive. Between the costumes, decorations, candy, baked goods, and increased grocery expenses… you can have a large bill on your hands. Consider intentionally pairing down. Keep decorations simple. Maybe the costumes are another family’s from last year? Can you buy less candy and baked goods? You get to decide what you pair back on but the more you do, the more you will have for your Christmas fund!
- Use Cash. Switch to using cash and you will spend less. We all spend more when we are swiping the plastic. Cash is the best way to have a visual reminder of how close you are to your budget.
- Turn the Heat Down When You aren’t Home. If you have a "Smart" thermostat you can set a schedule for it to turn down the heat when you are not home or when you are sleeping which can help you to save money. If you don’t have a smart thermostat, you don’t need to buy one… just put a reminder on your phone to turn the heat down a couple degrees when you are leaving for the day and going to bed for the night. Save some money by only having your house at the most comfortable temperature when you are actually there and awake.
Having a Plan
Ultimately, saving up & paying cash for Christmas comes down to having a plan! The tips above will definitely help you save money in a short amount of time. The key is, making sure you actually set the money you save aside for Christmas.
Then... start saving for next year. If you save every month for the entire year, the last couple of months aren't as stressful. So, once you find ways to cut back and save for this year... keep up the great work and plan ahead for net year too! You will be so thankful that you did.