Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Introducing the 2013 Christmas Savings Club

Another Christmas has passed by and while the memory of the Christmas shopping and spending is still lingering in my head, I've come up with a plan for all of us to start saving for 2013.

According to a recent survey, Americans were planning to spend on average $854 on Christmas gifts in 2012. Unless it's paid with cash, that is one hefty credit card bill come January. According to the Washington Post and a CreditDonkey survey, "a shopper who charges about $700 on a credit card with a 13 percent interest rate and makes only the minimum payments will spend four years whittling down the balance. The total interest paid will be nearly $200."

A cash Christmas equals:
  • a stress-free Christmas
  • a relaxing Christmas
  • a "I don't have to worry, because I've saved money" Christmas. 
A credit Christmas equals:
  • a "how are we going to pay for this" Christmas
  • a stressful January and beyond
  • arguments with your spouse
Wouldn't you rather have a cash Christmas? But the cash for Christmas doesn't just magically appear the week before Thanksgiving. We have to plan and save for it.

On the 25th of every month from January to November, I'll be holding a viral meeting for the Christmas Savings Club, a monthly accountability to help us save for a cash Christmas.

Before the first meeting on January 25th, there's a little bit of prep work to do on your end:

Step 1: Create a Christmas Gift Budget. I created one on Excel. If you would like a copy, please email me at familybalancesheet at gmail dot com.

On the budget, list all of your purchases for Christmas 2012 gifts and add up the total. Are you comfortable with that number? If you're spending was too far out of your comfort zone, make adjustments as you fill in the budget for 2013.

Step 2: Once you have a gift budget for 2013 that you are comfortable with, divide it by eleven. That is the number that you want to save each month between now and November 25, 2013.

Step 3: On the 25th of each month, we will be meeting (via a post) to discuss whether we hit our savings goal for the month. Each month, we'll come up with some unique ways to find/earn/save money to put towards our Christmas Savings Account.

January's Goal: Create your budget, divide by 11 and save your first month's goal. Stop back on the 25th and let us know how you did. If there is enough interest from other blogger's I'll have a linky, otherwise everyone can let us know how they did in the comment section.

Good Luck and let me know in the comments if you have any questions.

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  1. This sounds great. I already started planning to save for next Christmas, but I think I need to take a closer look at what I actually spent on Christmas for 2012.

  2. Great idea! I was lazy this year and didn't really budget for Christmas, and we way overspent because we didn't have any restrictions. We didn't use credit or anything, but we did have to dip into money I was setting aside for something else to help pay for Christmas presents. Not ideal!

    Forgive my ignorance, but what's a "viral meeting?" If you have a badge or linky, let me know. I'd love to feature this on

    This would go really well with my 77 Days of Saving Challenge for 2013.

    1. Lena - We also used money that I had set aside for something else to help us pay for Christmas. That is why I started this club.

      A "viral meeting"--that's just the term I came up with for each post on the 25th. I want everyone to come back on the 25th to let us all know how they're doing. I might end up doing a linky if there is interest. Honestly, I've never been successful at getting linky's off the ground.

      I'll work a badge and forward it to you. Thanks!

  3. I think you should do the linky; it's a fantastic idea. I love that you're starting this. I've been thinking about posting on the 25th, and never got my act together. Now that you're doing this, I'll do the post and do a chat day on my FB page to help promote the viral meeting.


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