This year I did something I’ve never done before. Early in the year I opened up a SmartyPig account to save for my Christmas Expenses. Every month I had a set amount of money automatically withdrawn into my SmartyPig account. I never missed it, because I never saw the money.

Though I used SmartyPig, you could use an Capital One 360 Savings Sub-Account or even a savings account at your local bank or credit union.

Now that I’ve saved for almost a year, I’m reaping the benefits of stashing my money away.

I Won’t Have Credit Cards to Pay off in January

All my Christmas presents have been bought, save for a couple of things for my parents and in-laws. I already know what I’m getting them though, so it’s just a matter of picking them up. I have the money in my bank account to pick up the gifts, so I’m not worried about affording their presents.

I Avoided the Danger of Overspending

By saving a set amount for Christmas, I know exactly how much I have to spend. I’ve already made a commitment to stick to my Christmas budget, so when I’m shopping, I avoid the temptation of buying something on a whim.

Furthermore, I avoid the attitude of “well, I’m already going into debt….what’s 10 more dollars?” The reason I know about that attitude is I’ve been there. This year if I go over budget, I’ll be going into debt. Although that would be pretty difficult, since I cut up my credit cards.

I Was Able to Shop Early and Plan my Gifts Carefully

I was more intentional about the gifts I bought this year. Since I didn’t want a bunch of clutter in my house, I decided not to buy a bunch of little things that would get stuffed into corners. I figure the grandparents will take care of that.

Instead, I went for a big family gift: a Nintendo Wii. (Shhhh! Don’t tell the kids!) I figure this is something we can all enjoy together. And since I was deliberate in my saving and planning, I was able to pick one up at Target a month ago. I won’t be standing in line in the wee hours of the cold morning to try to get one of 10 available at Toys R Us the day after Thanksgiving. (I don’t know if Toys R Us is even advertising a Wii on Black Friday, but you get the picture.)

My Christmas Season is Going to Be Stress-Free

Maybe it won’t be stress-FREE, but it will be a low stress Christmas for sure. I don’t have to fight the crowds. I’m not worried about money. I plan on spending lots of time baking with the kids, listening to Christmas music…in my home and NOT in the stores…, and watching all the old Christmas TV specials with my family.

If you’ve never tried to save money for Christmas throughout the year, I highly recommend it! But if it’s too late for you this year, plan a frugal Christmas for this year, and start saving for next Christmas in January.

If you need some ideas to make your Christmas a frugal one, check out the following articles:

Do you have a plan for Christmas spending?