If you’re following a holiday cleaning plan, this next tip might be just the thing you need:
Declutter and make some extra cash for Christmas.
Have a yard/garage sale.
As you go through the rooms in your house cleaning and preparing them for Christmas visitors (and yourself). Make sure you have a box or two labeled Yard Sale and put in items you no longer want or need. Schedule a weekend and sell, sell, sell. All the money you make goes directly into your Christmas fund.
YAY – Clean and clutter-free house and money for Christmas!!
- Posted 14 Sep 2012 by MrsClaus under Finances,Holiday Organising,Holiday Tips (Tags: christmas budget, christmas plans, finances, holiday organising, holiday organizing, money, organising, organizing, savings, tips)
Well, you know what they say about the best laid plans. . .
That’s true with me – things have not gone quite as planned. We’ve had a few very hot days and a few very humid days, and without air conditioning, it makes it difficult to get the cleaning done. Thus, I have to be a little flexible and try not to get lazy. It’s a good thing I’ve included a catch-up week in my Holiday Organising Plan, so I don’t have to fret when I’m not able to get some things finished.
Here’s an update of what’s happened over the past 2 weeks:
Week 1: August 27 – Preparation
- Notebook Review.
I did this earlier – too excited! And rearranged how I put it together. See this post.
Still working on these. Really just need to update and tweak – nothing much changed from last year. Must find time. lol
Cleaning – Children’s room.
Children’s room is almost completed. Closet, big dresser, bookshelf, windows, stuffed animal collection, and bins (hair ties, make-up, notebooks) done.
Still need to clean behind and underneath bunk beds, tub of clothes to be sorted, and their smaller dresser, plus a full and thorough vacuum.
My kids have a lot of items for donation: 1 and a half bags of clothing, 1 bag of stuffed animals, and 2 boxes of toys. YAY!
Week 2: September 3 – Money Week
- Budget Review.
Fairly quick and easy, not much changed from last year.
- Storage Areas.
Didn’t get as much done as I wanted here either. Hubby had the week, minus Friday, off. So we did little things around the house. Removed thistles by the front steps, installed new light fixtures in Kitchen and stairway, and went shopping (for new light fixtures and groceries – nothing super fun).
This week’s challenge – Week 3: September 10 – Party Planning
Every year we have (what I like to call) a Santa Claus Parade After Party. After watching the parade, we all come back to my house and eat. We also host a Kids’ Party for my children’s school friends. Need to choose a theme, debating between a couple right now. It really depends on what’s available crafting wise. Now’s the time to start making lists, buying food, craft supplies, planning entertainment, etc..
Cleaning this week, is all about appearances, the Front Yard and Foyer. The first thing a person sees leaves an impression about the whole house. If the foyer is messy, it doesn’t matter how neat and tidy your living room is, the first impression is messy. Hoping I can maintain the neat & tidy. Wish me luck!
- Posted 10 Sep 2012 by MrsClaus under Christmas Notebook,Holiday Organising (Tags: christmas budget, christmas notebooks, christmas organising, christmas organizing, christmas plans, christmas savings, finances, holiday organising, holiday organizing, holiday plans, holiday savings, organising, organizing, savings)
Use GIFT CARDS as a savings account, it’s quick and convenient – only downside there is no interest.
When you’re at a store, grab a gift card, reloadable ones are great because you can add to them whenever. Perhaps you just put $10 on it, then the next time you go you add another $10. If you can’t get a reloadable one perhaps a $10 or $25 card every time. (You’ll have a stack of cards, but at least you won’t have to worry).
Department store cards are good because you get a variety items there (ie gifts, party supplies, decorations). Grocery store cards are good too since you always need to buy food for the holidays.
Keep the gift card(s) in a safe place (and remember where ) until it’s time for Christmas shopping. Then you don’t have to worry if you have money for shopping because you saved over the year.
- Posted 31 Aug 2012 by MrsClaus under Finances,Gift Giving,Holiday Organising,Holiday Tips (Tags: christmas, christmas budget, christmas savings, finances, gift cards, holiday savings, savings, shopping, tips)
One way to start saving for the holidays is to open a SPECIAL BANK ACCOUNT specifically for Christmas. You could even have a portion of your pay directly deposited into the account, so you don’t spend what you don’t see. Here’s a few options I found.
- Christmas Club – If your bank has them and they suit your needs you can open a Christmas Club account. Be sure to check about interest rates and an extra fees which they might add – it’s not a savings account if you’re not saving.
- Tax Free Savings Accounts (Only in Canada – pity) – You must be 18 or over to open a TFSA. All income earned and withdrawals from a TFSA are generally tax-free. Plus, having a TFSA does not impact federal benefits and credits. It’s a great way to save for short and long-term goals.
- Savings Account – if the above options are not available to you, perhaps a simple savings account would do the trick. Shop around and see which financial institution offers the highest interest rate. Make sure the fees are reasonable, since you’ll be mainly making deposits – withdrawals will only happen near Christmas.
Check with your financial institution to see what they offer and what is right for you. Happy Saving!
- Posted 24 Aug 2012 by MrsClaus under Finances,Gift Giving,Holiday Organising,Holiday Tips (Tags: christmas budget, christmas club, christmas organising, christmas organizing, christmas savings, finances, holiday organising, holiday organizing, holiday savings, money, organising, organizing, savings, tips)
With just a little over 4 months to go before the Big Day, we need to have some sort of financial plan in place. Unless, of course, you don’t have to worry about money.
Money is generally tight come December (with all the parties, extra food, visitors, visiting, and gifts), but it doesn’t have to be. I’m usually not very good at budgeting and planning, but over the last few years, I’ve noticed that when I had a budget in place I had peace of mind. Now I didn’t always follow the budget (almost always overspent), but at least I knew that I had a plan and that if things started to fall apart I had a back up.
So, I guess my first Holiday Savings tip is to . . .
If you’ve never made a Christmas budget before this is what I do:
Take a piece of paper and divide it into 3 columns (a bigger one and 2 smaller ones).
- Label the big column Expenses, the next column Price, and the third column Actual.
- Next, make a list of everything you need to buy for the holidays – gifts, baking, parties (from napkins and decorations), Christmas cards and stamps, gas for all those long-distance relatives you have to visit, everything you spend for Christmas. Put these under the Expenses column (one line per item).
- Record how much it will cost in the Price column. If you don’t know the cost, just estimate it for now.
- Add up the Price column and that is your working budget for the holidays.
- As you shop and spend money, record the actual cost in the Actual column.
Congratulations you now have your first Christmas budget! I keep my budget in my Christmas Notebook at the back of my lists section (my general to do and cleaning lists are at the front), so it’s easy for me to flip to. Once you’ve done this a couple of times, you’ll basically know what you need, financially, every year and can start saving earlier in the year.
- Posted 17 Aug 2012 by MrsClaus under Finances,Gift Giving,Holiday Organising,Holiday Tips (Tags: budget, christmas budget, christmas club, christmas notebooks, christmas plans, christmas savings, christmas shopping, finances, holiday plans, holiday savings, money, savings, shopping, tax free savings account)
Here are some tips that have been gathered over the years from the folks at the Christmas All Year Forum:
- Have a special jar/tin/container where you save all your loose change throughout the year then just before it’s time to Christmas shop, roll it up and take it to the bank. (This works especially well in countries where they have $1 and $2 coins.)
- If your bank has them and they suit your needs you can open a Christmas Club account (also check about interest rates and an extra fees they might add – it’s not a savings account if you’re not saving )
- You could put any “extra money” like overtime pay, rebate cheques, and tax refunds aside just for the holidays
- Coupon savings – at the end of every shopping trip (most people use a fair number of coupons when they go grocery shopping) add up the amount of money you saved (lots of stores do this for you on the receipt), put that amount away and now you’re saving for Christmas.
- Have a yard/garage sale. Declutter, clean, and make some extra cash towards this Christmas.
- Use gift cards as a savings account. Purchase reload-able gift cards at places you would normally shop at for Christmas and add a bit to them each month. Grocery store cards are good since you always need to buy food for the holidays.
Have you tired these? Do any of these work for you? Please feel free to share your holiday savings ideas too.