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It’s never too early to start your 2021 Christmas savings plan. You can save for Christmas weekly, bi-weekly, monthly, or even daily. You just have to commit to planning ahead, and the holidays will be much less stressful!
I know that many of you are still wondering where your first stimulus check is, let alone if there will be a second stimulus check. Maybe you were laid off or business hasn’t rebounded since you were unable to work for months during the lockdown.
No matter your financial situation, you can probably afford to put a little away for the holidays starting with your next paycheck!
Christmas Savings Plan – Saving for Christmas in the Middle of a Pandemic
You might be struggling to put food on the table, and if you’re truly hurting for money and can’t afford to put even $10 away per week, you’re in what’s called “storm cloud mode”.
Living paycheck to paycheck is extremely difficult, especially when you have kids to feed. The most important thing you can do for your financial health is to create a written budget.
Starting a side hustle can be a great way to earn extra money, and you might find that your side hustle can turn into a full-time career.
My point is…if you’re feeling extremely stressed out or overwhelmed, you’re not alone. Before you even think about putting together a Christmas savings plan, you need to see where you stand financially.
I’ve created a simple, 5-day budget boot camp to help you get started.
Is Black Friday 2020 Cancelled?
I think we all knew this was coming, but with the state of America right now, it’s safe to say that Black Friday is going to go mostly virtual this year.
Walmart freaked everyone out when the company announced that they are closing Thanksgiving Day for the first time as long as I’ve been alive.
It’s actually a blessing, in a sense, because many employees who were forced to work in years past on Thanksgiving day will be able to spend the day with their families.
You’ll want to start putting together a list of who you want to buy for this year and create a realistic Christmas budget so that you can plan how much to spend on each person.
We follow the Christmas budget-by-age calculator to determine how much to spend on each of our kids (since they’re all different ages and we don’t spend equal amounts).
Saving for Christmas on Autopilot
There are two ways to save for Christmas:
- Stash cash and coin away in a drawer and add it all up when you’re ready to go shopping – not recommended.
- Set up automatic transfers every payday (or based on a schedule of your choosing) so that you can “set it and forget it”. This is the savings method I recommend.
Banks That Offer Christmas Club Accounts
Once you’ve determined how much money you need to save for Christmas, you’ll want to open a Christmas Club Savings Account if your bank offers one, or you can simply open a separate checking or savings account.
Most large financial institutions no longer offer Christmas Club accounts. You’ll find that many businesses have removed them to be politically correct.
Whether your bank offers a Christmas club account or not is actually irrelevant. Here’s what you need to look for when starting a Christmas savings plan account:
- No fees and No minimums – You won’t be saving a massive sum of money, so you certainly don’t want to pay monthly service fees for not reaching minimum balance requirements. In other words, if your account requires you to keep $500 (or another amount) at all times in order to avoid a service fee, it’s not the right account for you.
- Make note of withdrawal limits – Savings accounts have monthly withdrawal limits (usually 6 per month), unlike checking accounts, which allow unlimited withdrawals and purchases per month. The small amount of interest that you’ll earn is minuscule and not worth worrying about.
I keep my Christmas funds in an Empower Checking Account. There are no fees, no minimums, and I have a cute coral-colored debit card that I can use anywhere VISA is accepted. Empower also waives up to 3 ATM fees (up to $10 each) per month, so you can get cash super fast.
Oh! It also pays a small amount of interest (currently 0.25% APY), which is better than nothing! And I have no overdraft fees (of course I haven’t overdrafted in FOREVER, thank God!).
How to Save $500 by Christmas
At the time of publishing this article, it’s mid-August, and we have 18 weeks left until Christmas. I know we’re dealing with Back to School shopping and the last thing on your mind is Christmas shopping.
I prefer to plan ahead so there are no surprises. Here’s how much you need to save in order to have $500 by Christmas.
- Saving for Christmas Weekly – $28 per week
- Saving for Christmas Bi-Weekly – $56 every other week
- Saving for Christmas Monthly – $167 per month
- Saving for Christmas Daily – $5.56 (start with your spare change everyday)
You’ll want to save based on your paycheck schedule. If you can schedule an automatic transfer for the above amounts each payday, you’ll be in a much better position come Christmas.
How to Save $1,000 by Christmas
Sometimes $500 won’t cut it. You might need to double down on savings. Maybe you’re hosting Christmas dinner at your home or you’re taking a Christmas vacation instead of exchanging gifts this year.
Here’s the schedule you’ll need to follow in order to save $1,000:
- Weekly – $28 per week
- Bi-Weekly – $56 every other week
- Monthly – $167 per month
- Daily – $5.56 (start with your spare change everyday)
Saving Money for Christmas Weekly vs Bi-Weekly or Monthly
It’s up to you and your budget as to how to save for Christmas. None of these schedules is better than the others. Just be sure to plan ahead and keep your money in a separate account so that it doesn’t get spent before the holidays.
Life is a collection of memories and experiences. There are ups and downs. I am so grateful for God’s grace and am on the journey to a renewed spirit, free of perfectionism. Perfection Hangover offers the sober truth – no filter.