I know. I know. It’s spring time. Why should I be thinking about Christmas already? Well because in the blink of an eye we’ll be putting up hanging lights and stockings while we complain about not having enough money to get things for Christmas. I’ve got some ideas to help us save without making a ton more work. They won’t add a ton of things to your do list and you’ll be able to start saving for Christmas now. And if you’re not saving for Christmas, these are just great ways to help you save money to pay off debt or go on vacation or do a home renovation!
So today we’re eight months away from Christmas. I don’t know about you, but I do a lot of my shopping over the Black Friday weekend. To have our money saved up by then, we’re now down to seven months. Don’t stress! This is totally doable. I’m using the goal of $1,000 for Christmas. And if you don’t spend that all on Christmas, then you’ll have some extra leftover which is always nice. That means we’ve got to save $150 each month. Doesn’t that sound a lot more doable than $1,000??? Here’s how we can do it:
Cash Back at the Grocery Store
You’re at the grocery store at least once a week. If you get $20 back just once a week, you’re already saving $80 each month. That only leaves you another $70 to find each month.
Go through and clean out those closets, dressers, and the garage. You’ve probably got some things you could stand to get rid of. For a week or two of cleaning and a day of set up in addition to the sale day, you’re going to be able to make some cash to put towards your goal. Since you’ve got limited time and stuff, this isn’t something you can do all the time, but it can help you jump start your savings.
And don’t forget to shop at garage sales (and thrift stores) too! Instead of going to buy brand new school clothes, you might be able to find things at garage sales or thrift stores for a fraction of the price. Just remember to take that money out of your budget that you saved and put it towards your Christmas fund.
If you’re super organized, you could even offer to hold a garage sale for someone else or organize a larger sale for your friends and family to participate. Collect a small fee for your time and put that money towards your monthly goal.
Think about the needs of your family, friends, and community. Not sure what you can do? Here are a few ideas for you:
- house sitting
- pet sitting
- lawn care
- child care
- delivery (grocery, food, ect)
Be sure to charge a fair price for your services. Yes we’re trying to earn money for the holidays, but remember that your time is valuable too.
Use Your Apps
There are apps like Ibotta and Ebates that help you save money on every purchase you make using the apps. For Ebates, when you spend $25 making purchases through the app, you’ll get $10 and Ibotta offers a $10 bonus to new users. I’ve used both of these services and can confirm they’re legitimate ways to save and earn money.
Shop the Sales and Use Your Coupons
It’s so easy now to use coupons. You don’t have to sift through the Sunday paper, cut them out, and keep track of them until it’s time to use them (you totally can though if that’s your thing). Many stores accept digital coupons that can be downloaded to your shopper’s card for your preferred store. Also check to ask if your store accepts competitors coupons (these might have to be paper coupons).
Check Your Subscriptions
Are you paying for things that you don’t need or your not using? Do you have a gym membership but are never working out? Are you paying for Amazon Prime, Hulu, Sling, and Netflix? Maybe cutting out some things that you don’t need and putting that money towards your monthly goal. And don’t forget that if it’s a monthly subscription, that you take that money out of your budget every month.
Turn Your Passion Into Income
If you’re a fan of great bags and love Thirty One, consider becoming a consultant. Look at other at home business opportunities that might be a good fit for you. Pampered Chef, Rodan and Fields, KEEP Collective, Origami Owl. There are tons of them out there for sure. You might as well get paid for telling people about the products that you’re already using and love. Keep track of your commission and put that into your special savings account when you get it.
Put That Money Aside
Don’t mix this money in with your regular account. Open a separate savings account or keep the cash tucked away at home somewhere. Keeping it separate will make sure that you’ve still got it when it comes time for Christmas shopping to happen. If you’re going to be shopping online, make sure you’re paying off the credit card you’re going to use or deposit the money tied to your debit card with enough time that it’ll be in the account before you need to start shopping.