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Christmas Savings Challenge Ideas.
But it’s not even January yet, you can’t possibly be thinking about Christmas, right?
Well actually, now is the perfect time to think about next year – while everything from this Christmas is fresh in your mind.
Did You Debt Fund Your Christmas?
How do you feel Christmas went? – were you panicked? Stressed? Worried about money?
Did you rely on debt when you said you wouldn’t? What lessons have you learned this year, that you can carry forward to next?
Christmas should be about spending time with loved ones, not worrying about how you’re going to pay for it all.
Of course that’s easier said than done, but the earlier you prepare the better off you’ll be.
And that’s why, on the very last day of 2019, I’m introducing some ideas of Christmas savings challenges you can take part in from now until December 2020 to ensure your Christmas is as free from money stresses as possible.
Earlier this month, I published a post in conjunction with StepChange Debt Charity as part of their #ChristmasDebt campaign and was shocked at the figures their survey revealed.
1/3 of people said they would rely on debt to afford Christmas 2019, and the study also showed that this debt would take on average 7.5 months to pay back! Meaning come July, you will still be paying for last Christmas!
I don’t want that for you next year, I want you to start the new year with a clean slate and enjoy the festive season with your loved ones, without the burden of debt looming over you.
So have a go! I have pulled together these Christmas savings challenges to hopefully suit everyone – I know we all don’t have endless supplies of cash to stash away each month (I certainly don’t!) so choose the challenge that won’t leave you short, but will be a massive help to you come December.
You might also enjoy…11 Ways to Save Money this Christmas
Christmas Savings Challenge Ideas
Grab that box of celebrations with a few last Bounty’s hanging about and repurpose it as your Christmas savings pot!
Carefully cut a slot in the lid big enough for coins using a Stanley knife (mind your fingers!) and then pop the lid back on and seal it up so that you can’t dip in (I recommend gaffer tape – it doesn’t have to be pretty!)
At the end of each day/every week – empty your small change into it.
How small a denomination you go is up to you – my husband doesn’t like ‘shrapnel’ in his wallet and anything under a 50p he regularly empties out.
Put this straight into your sealed pot.
If you see pennies on the ground, don’t be ashamed – swipe them up and pop them in!
Decide on a date you’ll open it, but don’t be tempted to crack it open before then.
How much you save will entirely depend on how often you use cash, but you might be surprised by just how quickly those small amounts will add up.
It might not pay for Christmas – but it could go a long way towards your Christmas food shop!
£2 / 50p Savings
Was anyone else a regular on the moneysavingexpert.com Debt Free Wannabe forums back in the day? (They still exist, I just don’t go there much myself anymore).
They used to regularly run savings challenges and one I used to take part in myself was the £2 and 50p savings challenge.
It was quite simple – just save those specific coins every time you receive one.
If you had a tube of smarties or sweets in your Christmas stocking, it’s the perfect size to keep your special coins in!
Every time you get one in your change, set it aside for your savings pot.
Install Chip and Let It Auto-Save For You
Chip is a clever app that you can download and link to your bank account (don’t worry – it’s FCA regulated and completely safe!).
It calculates how much you can afford based on your spending patterns and bills history and will inform you of how much it plans to stash each time (so that you can cancel the auto-save if you want to).
It then holds the money you’ve stashed in a separate account and you can request a withdrawal at any time.
Sign up using my special link here* (or promo code KATIE10) and you will receive £10 FREE after you’ve completed your first two auto-saves.
50 Weekly Savings
Set up a standing order to leave your bank account into a specific Christmas savings account every week for 50 weeks and you’ll have built a nice little pot in time for Christmas.
It’s easy to set up a standing order on your online banking – and you’ll be able to choose your saving frequency and a start and end date.
How much you save will depend on the denomination you choose – look at your budget and see what you won’t realistically miss – don’t overstretch yourself or you’ll find yourself dipping into it which is not the idea.
We want to reduce your money stresses next year, so anything you can do now will really help – if you just save £2 a week that’ll be £100 in time for Christmas – that’s the food shop, right?
Would you even notice the £2? We all fritter away more than that each week, I’m sure!
£2 a week = £100 £10 a week = £500
£3 a week = £150 £15 a week = £750
£5 a week = £250 £20 a week = £1,000
Round Down Your Accounts
Some clever banking apps actually have this feature built in now where you can save the change from a transaction. e.g. If you spend £2.76, it’ll round it up to £3 and stash the £0.24 for you.
But even if you don’t you can do this yourself (though it’ll probably be easier to do it daily, rather than transaction specific).
I used to do this all the time. As I check my banking daily to ensure everything is in order, I would transfer the spare change from my available balance to a savings account.
So if my account was £151.16 – I might transfer £0.16 to round it to the nearest pound, or £1.16 to round it down to the nearest £10.
Again choose the method that works for you, but don’t underestimate the impact saving small change can have.
Save What You Can
Download one of my printables below and save an amount when you feel you can.
Cross out or colour in the square when you’ve saved that figure and if you complete the chart by the end of the year you’ll have your chosen figure saved up ready to cash fund your Christmas!
How is this different to weekly savings? Well, you might not feel able to commit to a set amount each week.
But you might find that you receive some unexpected money, or perhaps you make a Facebook marketplace sale and you want to put the money to good use – so this format allows you to stash little bits or slightly larger sums when you feel able.
Save Your Side Hustle
There are lots of websites that pay in the form of amazon vouchers – and I witnessed lots of people on Instagram in the #debtfreecommunity save their balance to cash flow Christmas with great success – some had saved hundreds of pounds!
Here are some ideas of where to collect Amazon Vouchers
– Snap my eats
It doesn’t really matter which Christmas Savings Challenge method you decide to use, you just need to start putting something away to ease the financial pressure later in the year. The more you save up throughout the year, the less that needs to come out of your November/December pay packet – or worse, credit card!
You might also enjoy…How to Make Money in Time for Christmas