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 Every month I had a set amount of money automatically withdrawn into my SmartyPig account.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.
Now that I’ve saved for almost a year, I’m reaping the benefits of stashing my money away.
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.
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 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.)
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:
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I'm just an average mom, trying to live a frugal life and get out of debt. I write about things that have (and haven't) worked to improve my family's financial situation. What works for me may or may not work for you, and you should always consult a financial advisor before making important financial decisions.
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