Some of us don't have all year to save up for Christmas. That means you may start to worry about how you're going to pay for the gifts, meals, entertaining, travel, etc. Don't worry. There are ways to save money for Christmas shopping, even if you only have a couple months left to shop. Let's take a closer look.
Give Something Up
What if you could come up with a few hundred dollars in just a couple months? By cutting unneeded expenses, you can have so much more money to spend. For example, give up your satellite service and you could save $150 or more per month. Switch to a prepay cell phone plan and you could cut your bill by 50% or more. You can give up so many things. It might be that expensive cup of coffee you enjoy each morning or that gym membership you never use.
Do a Pantry Challenge
A pantry challenge can really clear up some money for Christmas. If you have a large stockpile, eating from your stockpile for one month could save you $800 or more per month on groceries, depending on the size of your family. This also clears out your stockpile, which is good to do at least once a year.
Find Ways to Have Fun at Home
Going to the movies or out to eat can get really expensive. A family of four will spend over $30 just on the price of movie tickets. Throw in snacks and you're well over $50 to see a movie. Get a Netflix subscription and you can watch all the movies you want for one low price. You could also have family game night as an inexpensive alternative to going out.
Use the Envelope System
The cash envelope system forces you to stick to your budget. Each pay period, you put a set amount into an envelope for each variable expense. When you go shopping, you leave your debit and credit cards at home and rely on what's in your envelope. This will cause you to really think about something before throwing it in your cart.
Take Advantage of Coupon Overages
Last, but not least, take advantage of high value coupons by using them at places that allow overages, such as Walmart. If you find items on clearance or on sale, you can match the coupon to the item and get an overage. This overage can then be used to buy other things you need. It can even be used to buy Christmas gifts for free.
Even if it's only September, it's not too late to stay saving money for Christmas. Whether you give up something or take advantage of overages, you can have the money you need for the holidays.