Christmas is just around the corner, but if you haven’t started saving for it, then you’re already behind. The holiday season is a time for spending and celebrating with loved ones. But you know what that means: gifts, gifts, and more gifts!
For many people, it is a time of stress, both for shoppers and gift-givers. I’m sure that at this point you’re thinking to yourself: “I want my Christmas to be perfect!” or “What am I going to get him/her?”. Everybody says they want their Christmas to be the best, but very few people actually have a plan and save accordingly.
The temptation to buy is everywhere, and it starts early with the Black Friday and Cyber Monday deals, potentially putting a strain on your household finances from the get-go. If you don’t have a saving plan in place, your finances could easily get out of hand and leave you with a hefty bill.
It is hard to save money during Christmas, but here are five reasons why you should save.
- You won’t get into debt
With all of the parties, shopping, and other activities that go along with the holiday celebrations, it is easy to rack up debt if you don’t have a solid budget in place to keep yourself from spending more than you can afford. Consider setting up a Christmas savings plan so that you can make sure that your money doesn’t go anywhere but toward spending on those special occasions!
You could for example set up an account with your bank or credit union specifically for this purpose. An automatic transfer from your checking account into this special savings account, to reserve funds for the most expensive period of the year.
Whilst many credit card companies are offering enticing sign-up bonuses and other benefits to get you to sign-up, use your charge cards wisely; and remember that you must repay in full when the statement is issued.
- You can buy what you want
If there’s one thing we’ve all learned over the years is that people love getting gifts! And nothing says “I love YOU” more than giving someone a present they didn’t expect or want.
Buying gifts for everyone is stressful enough without having to worry about how much money you have to spend on each one. It feels good, on occasion, to spend a little more than usual for somebody you want to spoil; the appreciation in their eyes is priceless.
If your finances are in check, then you won’t run out of money before the end of December!
- You will have extra money for next year’s holiday season
If you take care of your finances during the holiday season and don’t get into any credit card debt, then next year will be even better than this one!
Ideally, having a saving plan is something you should practice monthly, not just around Christmas, according to ControlAllFinances.com. As we approach the festive season, start listing your planned expenditures, with the obvious ones being how much you intend to spend on gifts, meals, and travel. Keep that list for next year and repeat the process.
- You can consider making charitable donations
If you have successfully achieved the first 3 points, then you might consider giving something back. The global pandemic hit some people a lot harder than others. Christmas is often a time when we show gratitude and appreciate what we have.
There are many ways you can help your community; it doesn’t have to be financial assistance. When looking to do something good for others, think about your neighborhood first.
Be that special person and donate some of your money or time to charity this holiday season, instead of splurging it all on yourself!
- It will give you peace of mind
Saving money for Christmas can be hard, but an adequate plan will help reduce your stress levels. Sadly, many hate this time of year simply because they know they won’t be able to afford half of the things they would love to do or buy.
As easy as it might be, your emergency savings should stay untouched; Christmas is NOT a valid reason to start withdrawing these funds! They are there for emergencies (like medical bills or car repairs), not for spending on gifts or holiday parties.
Keep this money separate from your regular savings account—it will keep them safe from overspending during the festive season.
Christmas can be a time of temptation, especially if it’s your first holiday season with a new job or if you just got out of a long relationship and are ready to treat yourself.
Plan ahead: start saving early in the year so that by December, there will be enough money to buy presents for everyone on your list — and reap the benefits of saving money, says ControlAllFinances.com. A little thought into your saving plan can help you get through the whole season.
Shop smart: don’t go too crazy with the Black Friday offers – stick to one or two gifts per person and make sure they’re meaningful.
It is time once again to get ready for a period of celebration and joy, when we get together with our family and friends to make some wonderful memories. We may not be able to control everything that happens in the world around us, but we can micro-manage how much money we will spend on Christmas – so that we can have an amazing holiday!