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After summer and the extra vacations, you may seem a little more broke than usual. Totally understandable. With the holidays around the corner you will need to save some extra cash for family gatherings, present exchanges, dinners and maybe even more trips. I came up with some great ways to save money for Christmas (or whatever holiday you are celebrating this upcoming season).
Mindful spending is the secret to saving money these next couple of months before Christmas. It is all about simplifying your life down and buying less. Spending less means you find ways of doing things yourself. You are more selective of what you are willing to spend money on.
This kind of mindfulness is important to practice every day and especially with your finances.
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Need money for Christmas? I got you.
Or if you are just trying to grow your savings more by the holidays, this covers that too.
Since Christmas is about two and a half months away, that gives us about 8 weeks to save $1,000 (or more). I will show you exactly what steps I have taken recently (and how much money is saved at each step) to save $1,000 or more in that same time frame.
Make your coffee at home.
There was once a naive time in my life where I would go to Starbucks not once, twice but sometimes even three times a day. I would swing through in the morning on my way to where I was going, probably in the afternoon for a second time and even sometimes at night. Depending on what you order at Starbucks you can easily spend anywhere from $5-$10 each time you visit.
Imagine how much money I was wasting.
Now my wife and I only make our coffee at home (unless I want to splurge for a Matcha Latte once during the weekend) and easily save at least $10-$30 daily. Adding this up weekly would save you anywhere from $50-$200 a week (depending on how much you were spending at Starbucks before).
Total savings over 8 weeks: $400- $1,600
Bring your lunch to work.
This is always the number one strategy you hear about saving money – ‘don’t go out to eat’! And that is the same when you are saving money for Christmas. Planning ahead can seriously save you a ton of money.
I use to buy lunches either at the cafe at my work (when I wasn’t working from home) or go out to one of the local restaurants. Every. Single. Day. And trust me, that adds up.
I was probably wasting at least $10-$20 daily on lunches this way.
I only bring my lunch to work now when I go into the office and that usually consists of salad or rice and a protein, and fruit, nuts or something like granola, or already prepped meals from the weekend or night before. See these 26 Cheap Crock Pot Meals for ideas of meals to last the whole week!
Not sure of how to plan your meals weekly? Try meal prepping with $5 Meal Plan, a weekly meal plan service that can simplify your meal planning beyond belief for just $5 a month and for free for the first 14 days. If you have a specialized health need, they have several specialized meal plans to tailor to those needs too.
Total savings over 8 weeks: $400 – $800
See what bills you can lower.
I recently went through kind of like a ‘Bill Audit’ where I went through all of our current bills to see what I could lower in an attempt to lower our budget. I saw we were paying $250 monthly for our car insurance and that seemed a bit much when I compared it to some of the responses I got in the Iliketodabble Save & Side Hustle Facebook group about what others spent on car insurance.
So I got to doing some research and found that if I were to switch my insurance providers for the same 2 car, 2 driver policy with full coverage on one of the cars (liability only on the older one), I would save $150 a month! If you want to know who I switched from and switched to, in case you are in this same situation, I switched from Progressive to Geico. Geico got my monthly payments down to only $100 a month, and I am so happy about it!
Note: My Geico links are not affiliate links and I will not be getting paid if you decide to use them too.
As I dug deeper into my audit of our monthly bills, I needed to figure something out with our AT&T bill. It was also something that I thought we were paying too much for but since we were under contract and couldn’t leave, I couldn’t just switch carriers right at the time. Instead, I found this awesome online service called Ask Trim.
Ask Trim will negotiate lower bills for you without you ever having to do a thing besides entering your bill and bank info when you sign up. Trim negotiated a savings amount of $17.40 a month on our AT&T bill. This will put us on track for a yearly savings of $208.80 just from lowering our cell phone bill with no consequence or loss of quality!
Total savings over 8 weeks: $350 – $500
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Automate your savings.
Save money for Christmas and the holidays by automating your savings.
Did you know that your bank can save money for you? Well basically they can but you have to do a little work on your part.
Set up an automatic deposit into your savings every time you get paid, of $250. If you get paid once every two weeks, this would be $1,000 by Christmas.
If you want to really get the most out of your money with automation, try automating some of these savings into investments so you can also grow that money. Apps like Stash are my favorite for this. Stash consists of ETF’s for a minimum investment of $5. You automate your daily, weekly or monthly investment, track your retirement and tons more. Get $5 for free to invest in the portfolio of your choosing when you sign up.
Total savings over 8 weeks: $1,000
Try a No Spend Challenge.
Cut out as many unnecessary expenses as possible between now and Christmas. Don’t go out to the movies just because you are bored. See what you haven’t watched yet on Netflix or maybe hang outside or read a book. You don’t have to spend money to have fun. Read my post for 50 Cheap Or Free Things To Do For The Holidays for more ideas.
One of the best ways to save money during a No Spend Challenge is don’t buy any new clothes if you don’t need them. So, no clothes shopping until Christmas, if you can and if your kids don’t need new winter coats, etc (sometimes you can’t get around it). But, if you are a normally a casual shopper you might be spending a lot more than you think shopping.
If you do end up having to go shopping or spending on unexpected emergencies, try cash back apps to at least save some money on our purchases.
Cash back applications are great for anything really, not just online. There are some that use browser extensions like Ebates to get you cash back while shopping online, some that require you to scan a receipt, and some that don’t need anything from you besides linking your card or bank info to get you cash back without any further hassle.
A few cash back applications that I am currently obsessed with:
- Swagbucks: Swagbucks is where you can earn points called swagbucks or SB that transfer into real dollars. Earn money by taking surveys, shopping online, watching videos, discovering content or downloading other apps. Every 100 SB = $1.00 USD.
- Ibotta: Get cash back for scanning your receipts or shopping through the app online. Sign up with my link to get $10 cash back on Ibotta.
- Dosh: All the perks of a cash back credit card without having to actually get one! Just link your current cards to the app and get cash back! No receipt scanning, no waiting for the bank to approve your rebate, nothing but instant cash back! Read our full review of the app here.
- Paribus: Get money back when prices drop on the things that you already bought online. Paribus tracks your confirmation emails and watches for price changes so you don’t have to.
Total savings over 8 weeks: $100 – $500
Try to unplug and conserve as much energy as you can at your house leading up to Christmas. Buy some energy saving outlets or light bulbs to help.
Since you are no longer needing A/C (most likely if you are in the U.S.), you are at least saving a couple hundred a month on your electricity bill.
But you need to watch your gas bill and make sure you aren’t wasting any of that heat. That is why we got insulated curtains to keep both the heat and the cool inside (depending on the time of the year of course). These black out curtains block out 99% of light, are thermal insulated and soundproof.
Find more ways to conserve energy and save money for Christmas with 10 Green Eco Friendly Products On Amazon To Help You Live A More Sustainable Lifestyle.
Total savings over 8 weeks: $200 – $400
What other strategies will you be using to save money for the holidays? Tell us in the comments below!
Related posts: 86 Genius Tips To Save Money Every Day
Resources That I Can’t Live Without
Side hustling to financial freedom takes some creativity. These are a few of my favorite sites and tools to save extra money and make extra money to help you get here.
Personal capital: One of the best 100% free finance tracking apps with no hidden fees. What makes Personal Capital so great is that it syncs your spending, saving and investing all in one app.
Nielsen: Nielsen will pay you for your internet usage. All you have to do is download their app and register your devices. It is noninvasive, will not impact your device’s performance and is 100% secure. Then you get rewarded for using the internet like you do any other day! I currently have it installed on all of my devices and it is nice for a little extra income.
Cashback Research: Get paid up to $75 per survey and $150 per clinical study. Sign up with my link to get $5.
HealthyWage: You can participate in individual weight loss challenges where you set a specific goal using their calculator and get paid when you reach that goal. There are also jackpot challenges where you compete as an individual or as a team and if you win you can split the jackpot, or step challenges where if goals are met you can split the pot of earnings.
Inbox Dollars: Inbox Dollars will pay you to read emails, take surveys, play games, complete offers and much more. You basically get paid to play around on your phone to pass the time when you are bored. Did I mention they pay you an additional $5 just for signing up? Click here to read our full review of the app.
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