You probably know (or can guess) that I’ve started on Christmas already.
This will be our 9th credit-free Christmas. 🙂 We have done a number of savings/budgeting options over the years, so I thought I’d give you a few options… remember it doesn’t have to be the same as anyone else (or even the same as you did last year!) just do what works for you now.
1) Have a jar or tin. Save either your loose change or a set amount into some form of container. Mine was £1 in B&M and you can’t open it without a tin opener!
2) A savings account to either save the change or a set amount to each month. (like the cash but digital).
3) Use a savings club. I’ve used Park a couple of years and you set an amount (in vouchers or gift cards) and pay it bit-by-bit, then in November they send you the vouchers/cards to spend.
4) A pre-paid MasterCard. There is a small fee for this but it keeps it separate from your normal finances and you can re-use it next year.
5) A local store scheme. Our local toy shop runs a savings club and you can either save a bit each week and have that to spend in December or you can put stuff back and pay it off a bit at a time.
6) Buy as you go: I do a lot of this. If I see wrap, cards, accessories, decor, small gifts during the year I’ll pick them up. This can be done with actual gifts too, but I’d wait until October or so to get kids prezzies as they change their minds and have birthdays!!
In reality you can do any or all of these in combination, but here are a couple of general guidelines for whichever route you chose:
First decide on a budget and what’s included in it (does it include your food or not? For example). Then figure out how you’d get there… divide by the number of weeks until you want to shop, see how much you can save per payday and see how the 2 match up….
…If you want £1000 but can only save £10 per week then you’re only halfway. You either need to change what you’ll spend or find ways to save more. (Sell stuff, cut something out etc.)
Check the details, are there fees (like the pre-paid card) or restrictions on where/when you can use vouchers…can you access the money early if you see something on sale in October? Just think about it. I know that there are only 4 shops in our little town that will accept the Park vouchers, but the Park pre-pay card is accepted at a lot more places, including online stores. I could always travel to a bigger town though.
So I just thought I’d let you know some options.Feel free to ask questions x