Saving up for holiday shopping used to be easier. In the old days, they had the Christmas Club. At some point, earlier in the year, you would start a savings account strictly for your upcoming holiday shopping. By Thanksgiving, you pretty much had everything you were going to spend, sitting there waiting for you – no surprises.
What happened to the Christmas Club? I don’t know. I know our savings rate remains pretty dismal. And people have more pressing needs these days, such as food and rent. But that doesn’t mean you can’t make a few cuts here and there, and save up a nice chunk of change for the holidays – even if you start NOW (in November!)
That’s what money dude Dave Ramsey says in a newsletter article entitled, “Temporary Budget Cuts That Can Net You $700 for Christmas.” He looks at the money we spend on entertainment, dining out, groceries, etc., and looks for ways to temporarily (or maybe not-so-temporarily) trim the excess to put toward the holidays.
Here are the highlights, and what you might save:
- Restaurants: we typically spend $230 per month per family
- Groceries: make the right cuts, and you could save $25-35 per week. How? Read the piece!
- Entertainment: Skipping one family trip to the movies could save you $50 (But, I’m sorry, you have to see Star Wars!)
- Clothes: Make those winter clothes last one more season, and maybe catch the clearance sales in January.
- Fun Money: This is a big Dave Ramsey thing. When you budget fun money, it keeps it separate from “expenses money.” So, have less fun, I guess.
I’m no math genius, and your mileage may vary, but Dave says you can save up to $700 from now until Christmas. And, you might just learn some new, responsible spending habits along the way. Sounds like a Happy Holiday to me! What do YOU think? Could you make the cuts? Would it work for you? Let us know over at the MindField Online Facebook page!