Well, we learned a few things this year about saving for Christmas presents.
1. You should know your budget and how much to spend on each person.
2. Saving within your Christmas budget is possible – it just takes some creativity.
3. Just because you have a Christmas budget doesn’t mean it will build itself.
This article is about that last point. We knew how much we wanted to spend on Christmas, but didn’t really start saving until late in the game. Around September, I realized that we’d be spending about $300-$400 on Christmas and that we needed to start building that savings account pronto.
Here’s how it all worked out.
– I started teaching a few sax lessons in September and created an extra $80 each month! This translated into a total of $240 for the months leading up to December.
– My wife is the master bookseller in our house. If I weren’t looking, she’d sell all my books in a heartbeat, just for a few extra bucks! :) She dug up a few old books from her undergrad work (biology) and sold them on Amazon, pocketing a cool $120.
– One of the local schools hired my wife to play in their orchestra for a school production and paid her $250 for a few nights of work! Not bad!
Random Gift Cards
– Aah yes, re-gifting. We were the recipients of a few gift cards totaling $150 and lucky for us they were VISA gift cards. :) They went right into the Christmas fund!
If you’re good with math, you’ll see that all our side gigs added to a little more than $700! A Christmas surplus, you might say! But if you remember my post about our new pet, you’ll understand where that extra $300 went.
It all worked out, but if I had to do it again, I’d start saving a little bit sooner. Just $20-30 a month would bring us to that goal without having to stretch as much.
How did you do this year? Did you stay within budget? Any suggestions on building a Christmas fund?