I know you are probably thinking- what the what, another post about Christmas? It’s January people! Well bear with me, because this post isn’t really about Christmas! It’s about MONEY!
Sometimes it’s a good idea to step back and take a look at your finances and budget, as many of us do, and especially at the new year. One thing I notice is that we always seem to get really really behind this time of year and our budget seems to go out of wack! It’s hard to catch up!
So how does this happen? I’ll tell you what I think… it’s Christmas!
Christmas really sets us back and it’s time to take control of this situation! It’s not just the gifts, although I am the person who can’t resist getting that “just one more” thing for people! It’s the travel- flights, dog care, airport parking and baggage fees. It’s the unexpected vacation expenses, miscellaneous things that are little, but add up to a lot! And the inevitability that at least one of us will get sick! This year all three of us got the flu, so that’s 3 doctor co-pays, 3 prescriptions of anti biotics and various other medicines! And last but not least, if you are hosting Christmas meals at your house, its the food (and alcohol)! All these things are just over and above what our normal budget would be for any given month.
This is not to say I am complaining about the holidays! I just recognize that I need to be a better planner and saver and so I am going to try to start saving ahead a little bit! Here’s my plan:
Instead of spending all the money in December or on credit cards, I will save a little bit each month! I am going to put $10 cash in a jar each month and any change I find laying around the house. Once and awhile I will take the change to the coin machine and get bills for it to add to the jar!
Here is the jar I’m using! This project was super cheap (free) because I already had this jar and paint marker around the house! The jar is from Ikea. I wrote Holiday Fund on it to remind me of my goal, and so my husband would know why I had a jar of money hiding in the cabinet! I plan to keep it in a kitchen cabinet out of site so that I’m not tempted to use the cash for something else!
Here is a better shot, I stuffed a paper towel instead so you could read it in the pictures, you know, because my hand writing is so awesome I need to show it off!
I do realized $10/month is really not a lot of money, but adding in the change I throw in I hope will make it add up to a lot more by next December! So I’ll have $120 plus whatever change I save up in the jar, which is a really good dent in buying gifts for Christmas!
What do you think? What are some ways you save money or save money up for holidays or even birthdays?
I have been reading a lot of great budgeting tips over at the blog Mama’s Got it Together. She has a lot of great tips and this girl really knows how to live on a budget so if you’re interested in that I would deff check her out!
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