Did you know that the average shopper planned to spend over $880 on gifts this past Christmas?! Although the Christmas season has come and gone, it’s never too early to start saving and shopping for next Christmas! If you’re looking to plan ahead and save BIG this year, here are 10 easy ways that you can start saving right now…
1.) Buy Clearance Deals Throughout the Year
As you know, Target hosts toy clearance sales every January and July where you can save up to 70% off select clearance toys and possibly other items throughout the store! This is a great time to snag items at a deep discount for Christmas and even birthday parties during the year. Plus, other stores offer after-holiday clearance deals, which make for frugal gift ideas.
2.) Sign Up for Survey Sites
Sign up NOW for various survey sites that will pay you in return for sharing your opinion. Then, put that designated money/gift card(s) aside and use it for holiday expenses only. Most companies will pay via check, PayPal, or you can submit for a reward by mail after you’ve accumulated enough points to cash out. My top 5 survey companies are –
3.) Start Your Christmas Fund NOW
Did you know that if you put aside ONLY one dollar every week for an entire year (52 weeks), you’ll have over $1,300 saved up by Christmas? It starts with saving just $1 the first week and adding a dollar to it for every week that goes by. You’ll add $2 the second week, $5 the fifth week, $25 the twenty-fifth week, $50 the fiftieth week and so on. By the end of the 52nd week, you’ll have a total of $1,378 to put towards holiday expenses, giving back to families in need, holiday parties, teacher gifts and more!
*Hip Tip – Print out this FREE Money Challenge Form (PDF) so you can keep tabs on when you’ve completed your deposits. :D
4.) Put Aside Earned Gift Cards
If you’ve purchased participating items during a sale that have qualified for a Free gift card (Target has these sales often!), consider putting aside these earned gift cards in a special “holiday envelope.” Then, as Christmas draws closer, you’ll have a stash of gift cards to use at various stores to purchase items or use as holiday gifts.
5.) Eliminate Dining Out Once Per Month
Did you know that the average American family spends $250/month ($62.50/week) eating out, purchasing quick snacks, and ordering coffees ordered on the go!? Yikes! Consider cutting down the cost of dining out – even if just once per month – and save around $63 per month to put towards holiday expenses.
6.) Sell Unwanted or Unused Items
If you have baby gear, clothes, purses, shoes, household appliances, furniture and other items that are collecting dust or aren’t being used, consider selling your items on Craigslist, eBay, thredUP, Nextdoor or even hosting a Garage Sale to earn some cash. Put that money aside into a Christmas fund and you’ll thank yourself later.
7.) Round Your Balance Statement DOWN
When paying the bills each month, “round down” the BALANCE on the bank register to the next even amount. For example, if you have $400 in your account and write a check for $287, do the calculation and replace the new total with $110 in the balance box, instead of $113. Then, write a “dummy” check to yourself for the $3 difference, place it in an envelope, and deduct it from the checkbook register slip. Be sure not to cash the check, but hold onto it for Christmas purchases. Over a few months, it will add up!
For example: Take $400 in your checking account MINUS $287 for the check written = $113 balance. Round $113 down to $110 and then take the $3 balance and write a check to yourself.
8.) A Penny Saved Is a Penny Earned
Find loose change under the couch, in the car or at the bottom of your purse? Or think it’s not worth your time to pick up those random coins on the sidewalk? Consider saving every penny or coin you find or get back and keeping it in a jar. Then, at the beginning of December, take the jar to the bank and cash it in…you may be amazed and how those coins add up!
9.) Put Aside Rebate Checks & Rewards
If you’re purchasing items throughout the year that qualify for a mail-in rebate, consider saving those checks or reward cards for future holiday expenses. You can earn cash back from online purchases through ShopatHome.com or Ebates.com AND rebates through grocery shopping apps like Ibotta, Checkout 51 and Snap by Groupon.
10.) Re-gift Unwanted Gifts
Did you get something you already have this past Christmas or birthday? Or maybe you received a gift that you simply didn’t want or can’t use. As long as it’s not something that will spoil or go out of style quickly, consider hanging onto those items and re-gifting them to someone who may enjoy it and be able to put it to use.