It’s the first day of fall which means there are only 13 weeks left until Christmas! Yes, I know that sounds like a long time away, but if you’re already working with a tight budget it’s coming up fast so you should start putting away money for things like travel, gifts, and unexpected expenses (last minute holiday party invites etc.). Let’s say your budget is $1,000 all in. This means you need to save $62/week or $250/month from now until Christmas. How in the world will you find an extra $250 on a budget where every dollar is allocated to something already?
Make a list of all of the expense you anticipate. Travel expenses - flights, car rentals, hotels, etc. Write down everyone you need to get gifts for and set a price limit for those gifts. Include a miscellaneous budget for things like wine for that holiday party, last minute appetizers, or a gift for someone you forgot to include on your list (happens to everyone, no one’s judging you).
Get a Side Hustle
When budgets are tight, it can seem daunting to set money aside from something happening months away when you have bills to pay now. Regardless of which method you choose, you’re going to have to sacrifice something to make ends meet. In this option you’re sacrificing some of your free time to increase your income in creative ways. Babysit, do some freelance consulting, drive a rideshare (like Uber or Lyft), or deliver food with Doordash or Caviar or something similar. Take all of the money from that hustle and send it directly to your savings account and do not touch it until you’re ready to make your holiday purchases.
Analyze Your Spending Habits
Are you spending money on things you don’t use/don’t need? When I was cleaning out my budget I realized I was still paying for HBO and I haven’t used it since Game of Thrones & Big Little Lies ended. Also found a spare $100 from eating out/wine runs/coffee/happy hours. I’m definitely not advocating for you to become a hermit (but like if you feel like hibernating do your thing) for the next few months, but see if you can scale back somewhere.
The holiday’s can be super stressful but they don’t have to be if you plan ahead. Think about all of the Christmas movies and cocoa you can enjoy once you’ve got your holiday budget under control. Do you have any tips on saving money during the holiday’s? Let me know in the comments below.
For more creative ideas on how to save money for the holiday’s, read last year’s post here!