Start Saving Money for Holiday Expenses

Autumn Colors Christmas TreeIf you haven’t already, consider saving up money for your expected holiday expenses.  It’s never too early to begin saving up.  The last thing you want to to is depend on a year-end bonus, or worse, credit cards, to get you by.

That year-end bonus is more likely than ever not to be there.  And using credit cards because you can’t pay for current expenses is never a good idea.  So, here’s my saving suggestions:

Estimate Your Holiday Expenses

Before you start saving, take a moment to define your savings goal.  Consider all the travel you’ll have to do, the extra food you’ll need to buy, and of course, all the gifts you’ll want to give.  In total, the holidays could end up costing $1,000 or more.  How much do you plan on spending?

Start Automating Your Savings Contributions

Next, it’s a great idea to set up automatic savings contributions using direct deposit from your pay check.  You can do this by telling your HR department at work to begin depositing money from your paycheck directly to a designated savings account.  I recommend a high-yield online savings account, like Capital One 360 or FNBO Direct.

Stick to Your Plan

Lastly, stick to your savings plan up until it’s time for the holidays.  Try to avoid tampering with your automatic contribution set up.  Also, make sure you don’t overspend.  Just because you have the cash doesn’t mean it’s okay to stray from the original plan.

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Last Edited: March 7, 2013 @ 11:53 am
About Philip Taylor

Philip Taylor, aka "PT", is a husband and father of two. He created PT Money back in 2007 to share his thoughts on money and to meet others passionate about managing their finances. All the content on this blog is original, and created or edited by PT. Read more about Philip Taylor, and be sure to connect with him on Twitter, Facebook, or view the Philip Taylor+ Google profile.

Comments

  1. The holidays are a big stresser for me. In the past I have ended up using credit cards to pay for gifts and the extra related expenses. Ideally, this is something we should start saving for in January, so why do we put it off till October or November? I like the idea of an automated on-line savings plan; in fact, I started one using your link. And when January come around, I’ll be saving for the 2009 Holidays. Thanks for the post.

  2. PT,
    good idea to get people thinking about the holidays. We always start budgeting for Christmas about now. The expenses are so much easier to handle when we have some cash saved up!!

  3. I also like the idea of trying to have gifts purchased and wrapped by Thanksgiving to give to the side of the family that we won’t be visiting with in December. That way we ensure they get there on time and save on shipping.

  4. I think saving up throughout the year for the holidays is a great idea. Another thing we can all do to save money is to buy give throughout the year as well – when there is specials on possible gifts for friends and family – buy and keep for the holiday season.

    I have a friend who buys her b’day and xmas gifts like this and by the time we are all rushing to buy gifts at ridiculous prices she sits back and relax!!

    Essentially, proper planning is key to saving costs!

  5. We always plan ahead with the amount we are going to spend but the shopping part really takes a toll. I’m hoping thinking of just giving giftcards this year.

  6. @ Amber C – I’m a huge fan of gift cards. They’re consumable! The best attribute for a gift. This year we’re hoping to cash in cc reward points for a few gift cards to spread around.

  7. If you are going on holiday check to see if there are any tourist discount cards available in the area.

    I run a small membership in Cyprus for tourists. Cyprus is a great place to visit but boy is it expensive! So with a little discount at selected restaurants, car hire and hotels is always welcoming! Look up http://www.MyTouristCard.com to see if we could save you a little money on holiday.

  8. tony choo says:

    all comments are good idea for me..Thank!

  9. Great tips for the holiday season. People can also benefit from shopping online. It helps the unnecessary pile up of gifts you don’t really need but do end up buying because they are right in front of you. Having a set list of gifts to buy is a must during the holiday season. Thanks for sharing the additional links as well.