Let’s be honest here. Holidays don’t come suddenly. Yet every year we scramble to collect money to buy presents. Even worse, you may completely blow through the budget you’ve worked hard to maintain all year and find yourself in credit card debt.
If you’re ready to start holiday shopping but don’t have the funds set aside in your holiday savings account, we’re here to help. Here are some ways to find money to reallocate from your regular monthly expenses to holiday gifts.
8 ways to save money for Christmas
Even if you only have a month, you can still find ways to save money for Christmas quickly. You can make money depending on how hard you work by selling things, doing seasonal jobs, or doing side hustles.
1. Try the money-saving challenge
These appear at the beginning of the year, but you can join at any time. One idea is to work backwards, where at the beginning of the year he deposits $52, and each week he lowers it by $1. The total amount is over 1300 yen! You can start doing this next month for next year’s shopping, but this concept will also come in handy this Christmas.
If you use a lot of cash, you can also store all your $5 bills (or any amount) in envelopes. Or you can always just throw all your spare change into the jar. It’s not the same as the amount on your bill, but if you don’t need that much for Christmas presents, this small amount of savings or even buying gifts with cash can keep your credit card statement from getting too big.
2. Get a side job
Many of us are already stretching our budgets as far as possible. For many people, Christmas doesn’t just come unexpectedly every year, it’s because they didn’t have any extra money to save for Christmas. If you think so, don’t put off Christmas. Instead, make more money!
The service department is a great place to look for things that will help you with your daily work. Depending on your budget, even Christmas shopping may fit within your budget by working a few shifts a week at a retail store or fast food restaurant. Or find temporary work from the gig economy.
If you want to keep your side hustle going into the new year, the easiest way to avoid spending extra money is to have your side hustle paycheck go directly into your Christmas savings account next year.
3. Start a side hustle
If you have marketable skills, a side hustle is a great alternative to a side hustle and gives you more control over your time. It can be anything from casual babysitting, gardening, cleaning the house, or knocking on your neighbor’s door with a shovel during a snowstorm.
4. Take advantage of rewards programs
We are no longer a cash-only society. If you don’t already have a credit card with a great rewards program, get one now. Many have no annual fee.
No, I’m not advocating carrying a balance on your credit card. Until now. However, if you pay off your card monthly, you can take advantage of these great cashback programs without being charged interest or fees.
The same goes for in-store offers. It is now being implemented in many locations, including grocery stores.
As long as you don’t splurge, you’ll enjoy your sign-up bonus and first month’s worth of cash back on the same statement as your holiday shopping. Next year, you’ll receive 12 months of cash back or reward points that can also be applied towards holiday shopping.
5. Sell what you don’t use
This one always shows up on savings lists, and for good reason. Most of us have more than we need. Why not put it to good use? First of all, your house will be tidy and secondly, you can earn some extra money for Christmas presents.
If you have a lot of things to sell, consider starting with a garage sale. It’s a way to get rid of most things with minimal effort. This includes small items that you don’t have to sell.
Another option, especially if you’re selling a large or valuable item, is to post on local buying and selling groups or personal social media pages. Unique items, especially vintage items and collectibles like Pokemon, can also be sold online at places like Etsy and eBay.
If you’re afraid of selling online, contact local antique stores, pawnshops, and even flea markets to see if anyone is interested in purchasing your valuables.
6. Quit bad habits
If you need an excuse other than health to break a bad habit, try using money as your motivation. Whether it’s something as important as smoking or a seemingly harmless habit like ordering Uber Eats after a long day at work, lifestyle changes, even in his 30th They can pile up.
7. Stay home (and save)
This is another lifestyle change that can help you “find” extra money for Christmas presents throughout the year. If you’re invited to go out and your budget allows, you might choose to stay home instead. Then add the money you would have spent to your Christmas savings account.
I know someone who spent $400 on an outing during the Christmas holidays this year. It may seem extreme, but even a night out can add up to quite a bit of money when you buy food and drinks, buy expensive movie tickets, pay for gas, and if you’re a parent, hire a babysitter. There is a possibility.
Find free holiday events in your area, enjoy free local and state parks, and if the weather is terrible, have a fun family day playing board games and drinking hot cocoa .
8. Cut the cable (or monthly expense)
If you’re serious about saving money for Christmas, sometimes you have to take drastic action. Or maybe it’s not as extreme, depending on how much TV you actually watch.
Either way, most people can save between $50 and $100 a month by cutting the cord. If you’re already a cable-free household, take a look at your regular bills and see if there’s anything you can cut back on.
- Do you use all streaming services?
- Try free cell phone service.
- Can you cut back on monthly pedicures and spa visits?
- Do you buy pizza every Friday?
- Can I cut back on my cell phone plan?
When you add it all up
While these ideas are great, they may not be practical if you have a large budget saved up for Christmas and are already busy. The best way to reach your savings goals is to do lots of small things that add up over time.
For example, cutting back on a $10/month streaming service might not seem like a big deal, but if you do it and sell $300 worth of stuff, then get an extra $400 in side hustle and earn $10 a month. Let’s say you cut down on your takeout meals (and if you add them all up) you’ll save about $1000 in your savings account.
With a little motivation and discipline, anyone can save money for Christmas presents. That way, you’ll not only be able to give a great gift, but you’ll also be able to enjoy gift-giving without worrying about a January holiday hangover.
Monica Fish helps her fellow adventurers live financially wise lives so they can travel and explore our beautiful world on a budget. She writes about smart timeshare ownership, vacation tips and tricks, travel and activities in the New York metropolitan area, and living frugally yet richly on her PlannerAtHeart.com.