Budget, Holidays, Saving

The holidays are fast approaching

May is almost over. June is a pretty busy month for my family and I’m not sure I’m truly looking forward to it. Preschool graduation, dance recitals, Father’s day, Children’s Sunday at church, my mom’s birthday, my daughter’s birthday, lots of running and spending.

My husband and I try very hard to make sure we budget for expenses each month but sometimes things sneak up on us that we hadn’t planned on.

Of course, the month of June reminds me that we are 6 months closer to Christmas and that I have not yet put anything away for the holidays. Oops!

Does anyone else ever feel like they are always perpetually behind in that area? Just me? Doubtful.

Here are some tips so you can be ready for the holidays without breaking your month to month budget:

  1. Put aside $100 each month either by buying gift cards, in a separate savings account or in an envelope so that when October comes you have a $400 ready to go.
  2. Take some time to figure out if you can spare a few dollars in your trips to Target or the mall to pick up a stocking stuffer or a shirt or a toy for the kids that can be put away so you aren’t buying everything all at once.
  3. Start making gifts. Go to the local pottery place and paint some pottery, create cards, knit a scarf of knot a blanket. These gifts are often inexpensive ways to create a gift for someone that won’t break the bank but also will be beneficial for you and the recipient. It shows you care and that you took the time to create something personal for that person.
  4. Go through your garage or storage areas and sell items at a yard sale and then take the proceeds and put it toward the holidays so you have a head start.
  5. Buy books – I love gifting books to my girls. I check out the discount section or used book store and find things in excellent condition that I can give them to read. Same with my extended family. Barnes and Noble has an extensive selection of books that are often at a huge discount. Find something there that you know will be appreciated.

These are just a few ideas I have for how you can start saving now for the holidays. If you can’t afford the $100, then just $25 out of your paycheck each pay period will be a great start. It will help you not to have to go into your emergency savings account, get ahead of the game and hopefully make you feel less scattered when the holidays get here.