Have you ever known someone who saves money for Christmas all year? I never have, but I want to become that person. I sort of did last year, but not until a few months before Christmas. All of a sudden, I had all of these good ideas of ways to save money for Christmas, except I only had a few months to implement. Even still, it helped! I was able to get almost all of my husband’s Christmas gifts without spending any actual cash. Since then, I’ve been compiling a bigger list of easy ways to save money for Christmas all year to share with you all here.
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Easy Ways to Save Money for Christmas All Year
1. Use the Chase Freedom Card and get free Christmas gifts:
While I am a little hesitant to encourage you to open a credit card and talk to you about Christmas in the same conversation, this is how I got almost all of my husband’s gifts for free. If you can use the card and pay it off monthly, this is the perfect way to save money for Christmas, and actually get free Christmas gifts. The Chase Freedom Card comes with their Ultimate Rewards program, which gives you cash back and Rewards points. I used my points in two different ways. First, I redeemed my points for a $100 Nike Gift Card. There are so many gift card options you can use your rewards for. Next, my favorite part, is that you can use your points on Amazon!! I was able to shop for all of the specific things my husband wanted and pay for them with my Chase points! In the end, he ended up with a few hundred dollars worth of gifts that I paid zero dollars for. You can apply for the card here.
2. Save money for Christmas with a Way 2 Save account:
Now I call this Way 2 Save because that’s what I have. However, it’s really just the concept of it I want to talk about. The idea is that you have a savings account set up with your bank that is connected to your checking account. Each time you make a purchase something is saved. For example, with my account it works like this: every purchase I make using my debit card prompts a $1 transfer from my checking into my savings account. I have seen other accounts that round up what you spend and put that change into your savings. So for example, if you spent $15.50 on your debit card, 50 cents would be transferred into your savings. (Notice my example was really easy math…yeah, I am not a math person.) Saving this way can really add up, and if you do it all year without touching it, you’ll have a nice fund for a stress-free Christmas!
3. Use the Ibotta App to save money for Christmas:
I’ve talked about this app before when I wrote about saving money on groceries. I personally use this app for the little bits of cash back after I grocery shop. It dawned on me that although those small amounts may add up slowly, they still add up and over the course of a year could be a nice little fund to put towards Christmas shopping! You are going to spend money at the grocery store regardless, you might as well get some cash back for it and let that add up over the course of the year, then cash out! If you don’t have the app yet, get it here and you’ll get a $10 Welcome Bonus!
4. Setup a Simple Savings Plan for your holiday fund:
This isn’t genius or a new, profound idea, but it’s simple and easy so it needs to be on the list. Just save a little each month, each week, or each paycheck. Decide what your goal is for your Christmas fund, when/how you will set aside the money, and do the math. For example, if you want to have $1,000 saved for Christmas by November 15th and you plan to save a little out of each paycheck then…let me grab my calculator because I’m horrible at math…If you get paid twice per month, that would be 20 paychecks in 10 months plus one before Nov 15th. So $1,000 divided by 21, is roughly $48 per paycheck you would need to set aside.
My math may be rough, but you get the idea. You don’t have to use any apps, cards or programs to save a fund for Christmas. You can do it the old fashioned way and just set a number and save. Even if you just save $10 out of each paycheck that’s 200 bucks you’ll have in your pocket to make Christmas less stressful! Pair that with the other ideas on this list and you’re set!
5. Earn free gift cards with the ShopKicks App:
This is another rewards points deal, but you don’t have to do much to get the points. Basically, all you have to do is install and set up the app and then walk into the stores listed. You’ll get points that add up over time, which you can redeem for gift cards. If you store up points over the course of the year, you can have a large amount to redeem by say, November. Then you can grab gift cards that you can either gift directly or use to purchase gifts. You can get the app here and start saving up!
6. Become a blogger and make money, gift cards, and get free products:
This won’t be for everyone, but it’s a great way to earn an awesome income if you work hard at it. Even if you just do it as a hobby, you can earn income from sponsored posts, ad revenue, and affiliate marketing. One way I saved on Christmas this year was to use gift cards I was paid for sponsored posts. For example, I was paid with an Amazon Gift Card for a post, and used it to purchase my daughter’s big Christmas wish, the furReal StarLily Unicorn. It’s normally $120 and I got it for free. I used some cash I made through blogging for other gifts, too! And, I got several gifts for the kids for free in exchange for sharing reviews of them. Mom win. If you want to learn how to launch your own blog, I have a tutorial for that here. I will also launch your blog for you if you’re not into the technical part. Just email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
7. GetUpside App
I just started playing around with this app, but it looks pretty awesome. Basically, you can get cash back for getting gas. And um, we all have to fill our tanks with gas, right? So if you’re going to be doing that all year any way – use this app for cash back and cash out for a nice Christmas fund later this year!
You’ve probably seen the commercials. I have to list it though, because it really does work. If you do a lot of online shopping you should install Ebates and use it! You can get cash back on your online purchases and then they send you checks in the mail! I believe you can now even use Ebates on some in-store purchases, but I haven’t tried that part out yet! This ties into saving for Christmas because it’s a great way to create a fund just from the purchases you are already making online throughout the year.
9. Use SmartyPig to save money for Christmas
While doing some researching I happened upon SmartyPig. It’s a free online “piggy bank” for people who are saving towards financial goals, like a Christmas fund. You will get interest rates up to 0.90% APY (annual percentage yield). You start out earning 0.80% APY right away with as little as one penny in the account! There is also another perk which involves my fave shopping place, Amazon. You get a 3.5% savings on purchasing Amazon e-gift cards. So, say for example, you have a list of Christmas gifts to buy that total $500. Buy yourself a $500 e-gift card on Amazon through SmartyPig and you’ll only pay $482.50 for $500 worth of spending.
10. Make a list and know when to shop
While I was writing this post in my normal spot, across the patio table from my husband while the kids sleep, I asked him if he had any more ideas for me to add. I do often ask for his input, but honestly I only did it this time because I don’t like to end my lists on #9 and I was out of ideas. I’m glad I did though, because he’s the shopper in our family. He loves to shop and find great deals. He made a good point that sometimes, it’s better to know when to buy as opposed to waiting to save up a large fund.
In the beginning of the year, make a list of all the people you plan to buy Christmas gifts for and what they are really into. Then, as you come across good sales throughout the year, pick up things to mark off your list and find a good stash spot! This takes even more pressure off during the holiday season because you are not only not spending but you’re done shopping.
If you start now and make a plan, there is no reason why you can’t save money for Christmas, and even get free Christmas gifts for friends and family! Pick one or more things on the above list, set a goal amount to save, and start saving! You will thank yourself when the holiday season comes around and you are finally not stressed about it!
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Hi, I’m Jessica! I am wife to Chris, and mom to Kaiper, Alana and our silver lab pup, Maui. We are expecting baby #3 right now, and excited to become a family of 5! I am a freelance website & blog developer, Co-Founder of Moxie Girl Fit Club, and aspiring author. I share about everything from parenting, how to make money from home, tutorials for my fellow bloggers, fitness and being a new homeschool family. Learn more about me here.