Some people are already counting down, and others aren’t even thinking about Christmas in July. This is the perfect time to start saving to prevent making a major impact on your budget. Six months of savings can really add up and decrease your stress over the holiday season.
By starting now, you could have $1000 ready for holiday spending before the shopping season begins. Here are a few ways you can be sure there’s enough cash stashed to cover everyone on your list, regardless of what you’re celebrating.
1. Stop paying extra every day. You can save an average of $5 each day by cutting out your daily coffee run and making your java before running out the door. This can save approximately $100 per month, not to mention how much time you would save avoiding the lines, drive-thrus, and traffic just to get that coffee.
2. Cutback on take-out. Packing your lunches and limiting the times you dine out can save a lot of money and time. Drive-thru meals average $8 each, five days per week totaling $40 or up to $160 per month. Add in other restaurant bills and delivery fees, and the numbers really start climbing.
3. End your monthly subscriptions. So many people have a subscription for this and one for that. Why not? Everything has a subscription, and it’s the way to go. But how many of those subscriptions are you actively using? How much do they cost in total each month? Most subscriptions cost $12.95 or more per month. You could be saving $30 – $100 each month by getting rid of subscriptions, especially those you might have forgotten.
4. Shop with cash back apps. Whether you shop a lot now or when you start the holiday season, use cash back apps for online shopping. Apps like Ibotta, Rakuten, and others give you discounts and rewards you can cash in to use for gift buying.
5. Re-evaluate your monthly bills. All too often, we start our bills and pay the monthly bill because that’s what they send us. The added fees and extra costs add up, and often, we don’t take the time to look at what those fees are or what current plans are available. Cell phone plans, internet, and cable bills are just some bills that can be cut or thinned to save money.
The 26-Week Christmas Savings Challenge
This challenge is designed to help you save $1000 between June 25th and Christmas, which is exactly six months until Christmas! If you’re a Black Friday shopper, you may need a little tweaking, but it’s not too late to start this challenge.
Start by securing a safe place to put your money so you won’t take from it. Your savings will add up as the weeks pass. You can do this with a savings account, an envelope system, a box, or whatever works for you, as long as you don’t deduct from the funds.
Next, begin by putting $26 in your fund on Week 1. Each week, you’ll increase your increments by $1. So, in Week 2, you add $27, Week 3 $28, Week 4 $29, and so on. When you reach Week 26, you will have reached $1001. If this isn’t quite the amount you wanted to reach in the end, you can increase your amount by a dollar or two each week and reach what you need quickly.
Other versions of this challenge include:
Summer is a perfect time to start preparing for Christmas and holiday shopping, even if it seems a bit early. Decrease your stress, worry, and debt by starting your holiday savings now. Stop paying for things you don’t need so you have less to worry about when it’s time for Santa or celebrating your holiday this winter.
MilHousing Network is a proud partner of At Armed Forces Bank. Armed Forces Bank works hard to be your go-to partner when it comes to your financial goals. They are happy to answer your questions about different savings account types, and we’ll even help you set up the account(s) that’s right for you.
Want to learn more?! Check out Armed Forces Bank’s savings account options.
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