Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Christmas Savings Club | August Meeting

Happy 4 months til Christmas!

On the 25th of every month from January to November in 2013, I'm holding a virtual meeting for the Christmas Savings Club. The goal for this monthly accountability meeting is to give updates on our progress, motivate one another, and help all of us save for a cash Christmas. Today is the eighth meeting, but you can join us at any time.

If you are new, please read more about the Christmas Savings Club in the first post and join us. My offer for a FREE Christmas Gift & Spending Budget excel spreadsheet is still available.

On with the August meeting...

How did I do in August?
Our monthly goal for Christmas savings is $100. That number includes gifts for our kids, extended family members, teachers, friends, neighbors, bus drivers, service people, our Christmas cards, stamps, and our donations towards the Salvation Army's Adopt-a-Family program.

At the beginning of August, I was $100 short from June when we used some of our Christmas savings for gifts that were needed that month. I also needed to come up with August's goal of $100 for a total of $200 for the month. To achieve this, I attempted a pantry challenge in August.

I'm happy to report that I was able to reduce our grocery spending in August by about $50 and I'll put that money in our Christmas savings.

Our grocery spending has crept up over that last several months and it was time to rein it back in. My goal during the pantry challenge was to shop our freezer and pantry to put together my weekly menus instead of only using the Sunday sales flyers.

It pays to take an inventory of what is already in your kitchen before you make a grocery list. You'll avoid all sorts of duplicate purchases and reduce food waste too.

I'm still left with a $50 shortfall for the year, but I have 3 more months to save it before I make the majority of our holiday purchases.

September Assignments:
1. If you have not done so, complete the Christmas Gift & Spending Budget worksheet.

2. If you have not done so, open up a separate checking account specifically for your Christmas Spending Savings.

3. Set aside your monthly savings goal for September.

4. Start looking for Christmas gift ideas. My girls and I were in Target last week shopping for school supplies. They asked to walk through the toy department on our way to the Back-to-School department. I took pictures of a few things that they picked out for reference. They were pricier toys, but I'll start keeping my eye open for when they go on sale.

Let us know how you're doing with your Christmas Savings Account in the comments. You don't need to leave specific numbers if you don't feel comfortable, but let us know if you did anything specific to save your goal.

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