The days are getting darker, the leaves are falling off the trees, and all of a sudden it feels like the holidays are just around the corner. If the holidays sneak up you on every year and you end up spending January and February paying off your lingering credit card balance, it’s time to do a little prep work.
Don’t worry, it’s not too late to actually save for your holiday presents and plans. Here are some ways to help you save, starting today:
Keep It Separate - As you’re saving up for the holidays, open a separate savings account specifically for your holiday spending.
Give Something Up - Try giving up one thing that you regularly spend money on. You could give up eating out, you could bring your lunch to work every day, or you could cut out buying coffee. Give it up for a month (or more!) before the holidays and you might be surprised just how much extra you can save.
Make a Little Extra Cash - If you’re starting to save for the holidays a little later than you had hoped, you may need to give your savings a boost by bringing in some extra cash. Pick one thing that you can do without a lot of heavy lifting. Try offering dog sitting services to a family who is going out of town over the holidays. Or earn a few dollars a day by filling out surveys from Survey Junkie while you’re waiting in line. You can even offer to babysit for other busy parents who are searching for childcare to help with their holiday plans.
Sell Things - This pre-holiday period is the perfect time to clean out some unwanted items from your home and collect a little cash in the process. Pick a few hours to tackle an area of your home that has a lot of unwanted items (think: clothes, books, and kids toys). As you’re putting things in the “to sell” pile, snap some quick photos. Then list them for sale anywhere!
Collect Spare Change - Technology! There are some really great apps today that allow you to save the extra change. Qapital lets you move money automatically from your checking account into a savings account; it will round-up to the nearest whole dollar and deposit that money into a savings account. The app is free to use and will make saving automatic and painless.
Reset in January - Get your savings started now! Start your planning early. It’s easy to put off saving — the holidays won’t roll around for another 12 months, after all. With just a little effort you could have your holiday savings for 2019 done by the time spring rolls around.
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