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how to save money for Christmas

How to Save $500 or More Fast for a Debt-Free Christmas

Would you like to know how to save money for Christmas fast in order to have a debt-free Christmas holiday this year? Learn 5 simple steps you can take to save $500 or more by Christmas in order to enjoy a debt-free, fret-free Christmas! Save $500 or more for Christmas in as little as 2 weeks!

Also check out this article with 11 must-do tips to save money on your Christmas shopping.

Tip: Save the image above to Pinterest so that you can easily refer to this article on how to save money for Christmas later! 

 

 

How to Save Money for Christmas: Planning for a Debt-Free Christmas

The Christmas season really is one of the most wonderful times of the year, but it can come with a lot of stress, especially if finances are tight. However, you can alleviate a lot of the stress if you plan ahead just a little so that you don’t go into debt for your Christmas shopping. After all, the gifts aren’t so sweet when you are still paying for them with your November credit card payment next year. So this year, let’s have a new strategy—a debt-free strategy! During the next month or two, work to stash away all the cash that you can. Follow these five steps to save for Christmas and have a debt-free Christmas holiday!

 

1. Cut your food budget for a debt-free Christmas.

The average American family spends close to $800 a month on food. But you really can spend significantly less than that, especially if you nix eating out. So if you will cut $100 to $200 from your grocery budget for the month and $150 from your restaurant budget, you will have $200 to $300 to go toward your Christmas shopping.

Here are some ideas to help you get the most bang for your buck:

  • Make a plan. Download this free and super helpful weekly meal planning worksheet to get organized and plan your week’s worth of meals!
  • Use what you already have. Clear out your fridge, cupboards, freezer, and pantry. There’s a good chance you have a week’s worth or more of food in your home, and using it up periodically is a good idea to make sure nothing goes bad. (But if you find things that have expired, don’t automatically toss them out. The dates are just guidelines, and you can eat most things months past the best by date.)
  • Cut out the sweets, snacks, juice, beer, and so on. You can save a ton of money by just sticking to the main food groups. Leave the rest of the junk (food) on the shelf.
  • Plan to have a few meatless meals. Meat is one of the most expensive food items, so by omitting meat from your meals you can save a ton of money. Consider going meatless for a few dinner meals a week, or even plan a whole week or two week’s worth of meatless meals.
  • Buy only items that are in season. Blueberries may sound divine, but pass them up for fruits, vegetables, and other items that are in season.
  • Buy what’s on sale. Check the week’s grocery ads, and then plan what you do need to buy around that.
  • Shop with a grocery list. Make a list, check it twice, and then don’t deviate from it! 😊 Use this super handy grocery price comparison cheat sheet to help you spot great deals and pass over items that are overpriced.
  • Be OK with unconventional dinner and other meals. While you’re working your debt-free Christmas plan, you can give yourself permission to plan simple meals like cereal with milk, egg omelets, waffles, fried eggs with toast, grilled cheese sandwiches, and so on.

Want more ideas for how to save on your grocery shopping? Read this article for more than 50 suggestions for how to slash your grocery bill! And you can find 19 ideas here to save money when eating out.

Savings = $200-$300

 

2. Do a clothes-shopping moratorium to help fund a debt-free Christmas.

Another way that you can save money for Christmas is to not buy any clothes during the time that you are saving. The average American family spends over $100 a month on clothes, so if you will go for the two weeks or a month before Christmas without buying any new clothes (knowing that you may be buying some clothes as part of your Christmas shopping anyway), you can add that amount to your Christmas stash.

Do you feel like you might have to buy at least a few clothing items during this time? Check out this article with 13 must-know ideas to help you save on your clothes buying.

Savings = $100

 

3. Put the entertainment on hold to have a debt-free Christmas.

Saving money on entertainment is another great way to sock away cash as you save money for your amazing debt-free Christmas. The average family in the U.S. spends close to $300 a month on entertainment. So here, too, you can save quite a bit of money for Christmas if you will cut out your entertainment spending completely or even just reduce your entertainment spending for one or more weeks. To do so, you might give up:

  • Going to the movies.
  • Going to music concerts.
  • Going to sports events.
  • Participating in recreational activities like skiing, bowling, miniature golf, playing arcades, and so on.
  • Going on vacation (not including traveling to visit family for the actual holiday(s), unless you want to go really gung-ho).
  • Buying video games, DVDs, and books (check the library!).

But just because you’re giving up (most) paid activities doesn’t mean you have to give up fun! Check out this article with 60+ ideas for free and cheap activities you can do with the kids this winter.

Savings = $200

 

Related articles:

5 Super Simple Steps to Save $1,000 for a Debt-Free Christmas for Next Year
Do a No-Spend November to Save for a Debt-Free Christmas!
4 Powerful Principles of Gratitude to Change Your Financial Life
Contentment: 9 Powerful Principles That Lead to Financial Success
19 Awesome Tips to Save a Ton of Money on Utilities This Winter
61 Free and Cheap Winter Activities for for Kids
55 Fun, Inexpensive Winter Date Ideas

 

4. Trim your transportation costs for a debt-free Christmas.

Another way that you can save money for Christmas as you plan for a debt-free Christmas holiday is to reduce your transportation expenses. Especially since you’ll be cutting back on (paid) entertainment and shopping, you can likely save money on transportation as well.

Here are some ideas for ways to reduce your transportation costs:

  • Enjoy staying home.
  • If weather allows, ride a bike or walk to your destinations when possible.
  • Carpool to work and school, or take the bus.
  • Telecommute!
  • Drive the speed limit. 😊
  • Use apps like GasBuddy to save money when purchasing fuel.
  • See if the family can come to your house this year for Thanksgiving or Christmas.

Looking for more inspiration for ways to save money for Christmas by cutting transportation costs? You can find here more than 30 ideas for how to save on transportation costs.

Savings = $50+

5. Give up your spending or fun money for the month to enjoy a debt-free Christmas.

Knowing that the holidays are just around the corner might make it easier to give up your spending money (or fun money—whichever you like to call it) for the weeks or couple of months leading up to Christmas. Again, this doesn’t mean that you can’t do anything—just look for free (or really cheap) options instead. And there are plenty of them!

A few ideas include the following:

  • Providing service to the community or to loved ones or neighbors in need
  • Attending free Christmas concerts
  • Checking out Christmas movies from the library to watch as a family
  • Checking out Christmas books from the library to read as a family
  • Singing Christmas songs together as a family or caroling in the neighborhood
  • Baking Christmas treats to eat or to give away
  • Creating inexpensive Christmas crafts
  • Actually doing something with all those photos on your phone (OK, maybe that last idea is just for me—anybody else have thousands of pictures of your kiddos on your phone that you never get around to printing or doing anything with except for occasionally sharing on Facebook?)

Savings = $50+

 

Pro tip: Want to find even more ways to save money fast for Christmas? You can find 19 simple ways to slash your winter utility spending here! And you can find more than 30 ways to save money on housing in general here. And be sure to check out this article with over 150 simple ways to slash your spending overall to save more money!

Conclusion

Unlike many financial goals, saving money for Christmas for a few weeks or months so that you can enjoy a debt-free Christmas can be a sprint where you go all-in until the holidays arrive.

Next year, though, make sure to plan for Christmas (I heard it’s going to be in December once again! Who knew?! 😉) by setting a little money aside each month for Christmas shopping, activities, and decorations. You might plan to contribute $50 to $100 or some other designated amount per month to save for your debt-free Christmas, depending on how much you want to spend next year.

And while you’re at it, in order to put yourself on wonderfully solid financial ground, check out these other cool things to save up money for to run your financial house smoothly.

 

What are your favorite tips to save money for Christmas? What have you done in the past? Or what do you intend to do this year? Leave a comment and let me know—I would love to hear your ideas!

 

Invitation to Share

Was there something in this article that inspired you to change something about your money? Are there ideas or tips that you feel could help a family member or friend or people in general? Would you please take a minute to share this article via email or social media? I would love your help to share these principles of financial well-being with others. Thank you!

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