NOL might be a long way off, but if you start saving now, you can avoid the financial blow of the holiday season.
Last year, Americans planned to spend $ 997.79 this Christmas on gifts, food and decorations, according to the National Retail Federation.
Going into debt to pay for Santa’s presents is never a good idea, but by planning now, you can build up the cash in time to buy all of your favorite festive treats.
As of today, July 3, there are 174 days left until December 25, which means you need to set aside $ 5.75 each day to build a pot of $ 1,000.
This comes down to about $ 40 per week.
If you set up a separate savings account now and transfer the money at the start of each day or week, it will be a lot less painful than having to find $ 1,000 on your paycheck in December.
Of course, not all of us have $ 5.75 in reserve per day, so that can also help make small changes now to free yourself up and save more.
Here are some of our top tips for getting your money ready for Christmas:
Ditch take-out coffees
The average cup of coffee in the United States costs $ 3.28, according to CreditDonkey.
In other words, if you give up two cups a day and save some money instead, you’ll easily hit your Christmas goal.
Even if you only gave up one cup a day, you would still manage to save $ 683.84.
Look for bank bonuses
Lots of banks will give you a boost if you do business with them which is free money you can spend on your Christmas budget.
For example, Chase is offering $ 225 in free cash to customers who open a new Total Checking account.
To be eligible, you must set up direct deposits within 90 days and keep the account open for at least six months.
- Remember that the account comes with a monthly fee of $ 12, or it’s free if any of the following apply:
- Electronic deposits made to the account total at least $ 500
- The balance is $ 1,500 or more at the start of each day
- Average start day balance is $ 5,000 or more in any combination with this account and the linked Chase accounts
We’ve rounded up some of the best banking bonuses here.
Fill out surveys to increase your income
SurveyRewardz allows you to earn gift cards for completing surveys, which you can redeem for cash.
You can also earn cash to withdraw to a PayPal account, a virtual Visa gift card, or a real check.
The amount paid per survey typically ranges between $ 0.50 and $ 10.
Sell your time by doing tasks
If you have some spare time, you can use it to perform tasks like downloading apps and playing games in exchange for a little cash.
Better yet, there are plenty of apps to make this easy like InboxDollars.
Some typical activities include:
- Respond to surveys
- Complete offers
- Download applications
- Play games
- Watch videos and advertisements
- Confirmation emails
- Refer friends
Users typically earn up to $ 5 per task, so if you complete one or two a day, you’ll be ready for Christmas.
Use cashback sites
Cashback websites are a great way to save money while you spend, which can then be used for your Christmas shopping.
When you sign up for a cashback website and spend through its portal, it will automatically give you a percentage of what you spend – often between 1% and 20%.
This means that every time you spend money, you are also saving valuable money.
Even better, popular site Rakuten has a $ 10 sign-up bonus that you can redeem through PayPal.
Donation assistant is another cashback website, which offers $ 5 just for signing up.
Be careful, however, not to shop, or you will end up spending rather than saving.
Save money on utilities
Saving money on your heating or gas bills is a great way to increase your vacation fund.
There are loads of things you can do, from small steps to big. Some of our favorites include:
- Trade in for LED bulbs (save $ 75 per year)
- Change of utility provider
- Unplug devices (save $ 100 per year)
- Turn the thermostat down a notch (save $ 90 per year)
- Do cold washes (save $ 70 per year)
Plan your gifts
If you start saving now, you can also start spending now and make sure you get the best deals.
Write down who you need to get a gift for and what you would like to give them, then monitor sales and discounts throughout the year.
This means you can buy things when they’re really the cheapest, rather than in a rush at Christmas when you might have to pay a premium.
We’ve rounded up 20 ways to get free gift cards, including using Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram to find freebies.
Meanwhile, Extreme Cheapskate reveals how to save hundreds on groceries WITHOUT coupons – including the “double and freeze” method.
Plus, here are three TikTok hacks that will save you thousands of dollars without even realizing it, including the 100 envelope challenge.