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September 4, 2019 Personal Banking Joshua Williams

It’s Time to Start Saving for the Holidays! (Yes, you heard us.)

Santa works year round to make sure he is ready for his big day, so why can’t you? Be prepared this holiday season by starting your saving early with some simple tips any elf can do. 😉

Create Your Holiday Budget

Stay on track this year! Create and stick to your budget by planning ahead. Be thoughtful and intentional about who you plan to buy for and what you can spend on each person. This takes a lot of stress out of the holiday shopping season.

  • First things first, make your shopping list. Figure out who you have to buy for and who you want to buy for. This list will help when it comes down to budgeting for your holiday. Sometimes the wants don’t always get to stay on the shopping list. For example, you might want to buy your hairdresser a gift, but you have to buy your children gifts.
  • Next, decide how much money you can afford to spend this holiday season. Be honest with yourself about how much you can comfortably spend without putting yourself into debt.
  • Then, assign a price range for every person on the list.
  • Now, add up the highest amount for each person to see if you are above or below your budget. If you are over your budget make the proper adjustments. Do not spend out of your means. The holidays aren’t about the most expensive present. If you don’t want to lower any of your individual price points, perhaps reassess who is on your list and see if you can cut.
  • SAVINGS TIP: If there are people on your list that you just don’t want to cut, but aren’t on your need-to-buy-for list, consider something homemade like a tin of cookies and a heartfelt note.

Start Saving Now

Once your shopping list and budget are set you can start planning how you will save. The earlier you start the more time you have to meet your holiday shopping goals.

  • Envelope system. Get an envelope for each person that you have to buy for on your now-perfected shopping list. Put money in the envelopes each week to start saving. Start with the small amount people first. This sounds counter intuitive but the smaller amounts will be completed faster and will motivate you to keep going.
  • Debit round up. Sign up for Workers Debit Roundup. Every debit card transaction you do will automatically be rounded up to the next dollar and the difference will be put into your savings account. You will instantly become a saver.
  • Generate more income. If your holiday budget needs a little boost the money will need to come from somewhere.
    • Tried and true garage sale…there will still be a few nice weekends to setup shop in your front yard.
    • Second job. Lots of retail stores hire seasonal help but be careful not to burn yourself out. Is better to spend a little less and have more time to do other things important to you, or is it better to give more expensive gifts and have to work multiple jobs? The answer and reasons will be different for everyone.
    • Track your spending with MX in the Workers Mobile app and eliminate needless spending.
  • Gift cards. Save any gift cards that you received throughout the year and re-gift them. Not where you thought we were going with this, is it? It may not be ideal, but it’s an option nonetheless.
  • Sales Sales Sales. There are hundreds of sales that go on before December even gets here. Back to school, Labor day, Black Friday, Cyber Monday, and random sales in between. Use your shopping list to help you keep track of what you want to get and keep your eyes open for great deals. If you know you have a big purchase on your list, like a gaming system or an appliance, scout deals ahead of time so you know who has the best offer.
  • Credit card rewards. For those that use their credit cards and payoff their balances each month, save up some of those rewards for gift purchases.

While thinking about the holidays in September may feel a little odd…just downright wrong to some, intentionally getting a head-start on your planning will help you have a more enjoyable holiday season as December quickly approaches. Once you find that you can follow a budget and achieve small victories for a short period of time, your holiday saving strategies may even start to trickle into your everyday saving habits!