I have my payroll set up so part goes into savings and part checking and the balance is a check. My goal is to NOT transfer that savings amount to checking and use it!!!!
I also will throw all my coins into a jar and try to toss dollars in there from time to time.
I was one of those folks wishing I'd saved throughout the year.
I have started saving for christmas 2012 -- have 20 dollars put aside. Also have started shopping - got my son in law a 36 dollar pair of heavy winter gloves at Kohls and a 45 dollar flannel pant and t-shirt pajama set - both for $5.12 !!! clearance and had a ten dollar gift card that I used. good start to christmas !!!
This is so important, but last year I wasn't earning and any pennies I had were spent in anticipation of the next wage.
This year OH and I have made a few decisions:
In the supermarket Tesco there is a loyalty reward scheme where you get sent vouchers off your shopping, sent at different stages throughout the year. However I have now opted into the Christmas Savers Club which means they will only send them out at the end of November and I can add cash to the account throughout the year. We have agreed on £20 a month and have already accrued £9 in loyalty vouchers.
My OH and brother's birthday fall on 3rd and 6th January respectively and they always get the short straw. I am going to buy a £20 gift voucher for Amazon each month that can be used for their birthdays and maybe a bit of Christmas.
It will make all the difference if I can stick to this. Although I only have a guaranteed wage until July, so plans may change, but even half a years savings are better than no savings.
I'm planning to save $20 or 25 each payday. Right now I have several birthdays in January that make it hard to start my Christmas fund. So, mine will start in February. I'm purchasing gifts as I find them though since I want to avoid so much shopping in November & December. That's sort like saving.
There seem to be all levels of "financial savy" here in our Magical Holiday Home Family! This thread is helping me... to develop a little bit more "savy". Baby Steps in everything, I guess.
Anyway.... NOW... that I am "more financially aware".... I am realizing that.... "medical costs get higher in January.... until you have satisfied your 'medical deductible costs from health insurance". Duh. I "knew" this... but I didn't plug it into my "year-long thinking".
There are LOTS of things that are higher in January (and February. AND March....) Like... heating costs. Now... I know that this is different for everybody. Some people have heating costs included in their rent... so that is not a big factor for them. Some people do not have insurance and are probably going without health care that they need.
But... for me.... the Christmas savings plan.... works better if I take into account.... all the expenses that ARE higher.... around and AFTER Christmas. EVEN IF... credit card bills do not come in after Christmas.... there are PLENTY of bills that DO come in after Christmas.
AFTER Christmas is key. There are sales that I attend every year. Example: Bra's... They are always on sale in January and June. I'd be crazy not to buy them then. But we're usually short on money. It took me a bit to realize I needed to save some for after Christmas as well. Also Bath and Body Works, has their semi annual sales in January and June. Same thing...I want to buy when it's cheap, but I have to account for that.
I have also started to make sure that I have a few dollars to spend on the after christmas sales. I have found that over the last few years there are bargains out there but no money put aside. Now i always make sure I have some dollars so I don't miss those bargains when I see them.