Christmas time is here…ok, well actually it’s over now, but let me ask you a question. Are you still reeling from guilt over how much you spent on Christmas? You are maybe you aren’t, but I think we can all agree that Christmas can be damn expensive. 2021 was the first year I didn’t fret as we were racking up the charges because I had secretly over-prepared us for the spending all year long. How you may ask? By taking part in a savings challenge.
I liked the idea of the 52-week savings challenge that had me putting away the same # of dollars for the week that we were in the year. So week 5 for example, required a $5 contribution. Week 35, a $35 contribution. This was a lot of fun! I know that sounds bizarre, but I love saving money! I especially love it when I can put away $2 in week two and know by the end of my challenge I will have saved $1,378!! My goal for this money was simple and straightforward: Christmas Money!
I have grown tired of putting off saving specifically for Christmas just to feel super guilty when we would pay for Christmas out of our main savings accounts. To me, that money was money I acted as if we didn’t even have. That is rainy day money. That is the car broke down money, the heater went out money, the kids broke leg money…the list goes on, but it was not spending an absurd amount on Christmas gifts money. (which I will blog about in another post shortly) So it pained me to pull it from there, which took a little bit of the magic out of Christmas for me, but this past Christmas was different.
I enjoyed the shopping process in 2021, and we spent less than we had in years past. Go figure. Spending money is very psychological. In years past, I was telling myself “no”, and if you know me at all, you know that I don’t take “no” for an answer very well at all. This year, I had a budget of $1,378. Plenty of money to have a stellar Christmas, but what I found myself doing this year, was looking for quality gifts that would bring joy to the recipient. Years past were more about quantity than quality. In my mind, I was buying little things here and there and without even realizing it, I was spending way more $$$$ on “Chinese junk” as my husband refers to it. So this created two problems. First, it created a hit to our savings account that I didn’t really care to see, and second it left us with a bunch of small broken toys that didn’t make it through Christmas dessert. Well, lesson learned my friends, and so 2022 will be yet another year we take on the money challenge! If you want to play, let me know! I’d love to be your weekly savings cheerleader and keep you motivated! Small changes add up to huge savings.
****Please note, we did not spend that much on Christmas and that budget was for everyone. (kids, parents, teachers, nieces, nephews, etc.) I say that I had a budget of that amount knowing that if I spent that much, I wouldn’t be out anything from our real savings account, but I wouldn’t say I ever had intentions of spending all of that.