Holiday Spending

August 13, 2008 · Posted in Money 

Many people dread the holidays simply because of the gifts that are expected to be purchased, along with parties to give and/or attend, and decorations for the house. It has become necessary to save all year for just one day. You probably find it hard to look at your child’s face and say, “I’m sorry, but we just can’t afford that right now.” Should you just turn off your lights and hide until this nightmarish day has passed? Of course you don’t have to do that!

As in most things involving money, the key to succeeding is in planning. Your savings plan needs to begin in January. If you are already on a monthly budget, you will need to figure out just how much money you can put away each month for holiday spending. You don’t want to make yourself “savings poor,” however. The amount of money you save should not be so much that it creates a financial strain. That is where the planning comes in.

Start small if you need to. Get a large jar or container that will be used only for extra change. This is a way that everyone in the family can contribute. Instead of using that change on soda, candy, or whatever else you can live without, put it in the container. You will be surprised at just how fast it will all add up in 12 months.

Another way to build up your holiday spending fund is to put away any extra money that may come along during the month. If you have a bill or two that is less than your budgeted amount, take that left over money and add it to your fund. This is something else that will surprise you at how fast it can add up.

A lot of banks offer holiday savings accounts. These are pretty good because you are not allowed to withdraw any of the money put in there until right before the holidays. So, any money that is deposited in this account through the year will be safe because you cannot touch it.

Now, assuming that you do one, all, or a combination of some of these money saving methods, you will not be dreading the holidays so much this year. In fact, you may even find yourself looking forward to them, and to the smiles that your gifts will put on some special faces.


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