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I don’t want to worry you, but we only have eighteen weeks before Christmas. Yes, I said it. I used the dreaded C word in August.
The kids may not have even gone back to school yet, but most of us savvy mums will be thinking about Christmas, and how the hell we’re going to afford it.
My eldest is starting school next month, and after being raided for school uniform, book bags, and school schools, plus a desperately needed haircut, I’m currently feeling like I’ve been mugged in broad daylight.
Saving money isn’t even on my raider, but Christmas certainly is.
So with that in mind, I’ve decided to put on my big girl pants and come up with a way to save money to pay for Christmas. This money might go forward the festive dinner, presents or even a sneaky little present for myself.
Who knows? But right now, with only four months to go, I’m starting at zero!
You’ve probably seen a load of posts about money saving challenges. We ourselves did one, talking about the Penny challenge, something that Eleanor was trialling and has stuck too.
I also liked the sound of the £1 challenge. Where you save £1 in the first week, £2 the next week, £3 in week three and so on until you reach week 52 where you would save £52.
The idea is that because you’re building up gradually, you don’t miss the money and by the end of the year have a nice nest egg to spend from.
Now that’s all well and good, but I don’t need my money at the end of December, I need it at the start!
Plus, who can afford to save £49, £50, £51 and £52 a week in the last four weeks of the challenge? I know I certainly can’t!
Thirteen Week Challenge
I love planning, and a good experiment, so I have thought up my own idea to help me save in time for Christmas shopping but not break the bank.
My version is like the poor person’s version of the traditional savings challenges as it’s much more achievable than the ones I’ve seen doing the rounds. This will give you £364 by the first week of December, and at its maximum it’s just £7 a week which is easily manageable to most of us in my opinion, unlike the £52 a week which is more than I spend on my food shopping!
I’ve made a minute table that you can print off and stick to the fridge and to your collection pot (if you’re using one, a separate savings account would work too), so you can see how much you need to save, tick it off and watch your money grow.
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Now, when it gets to the £7 Sunday, it does hurt a bit, but I’ve started slowly cutting back on the things we do. One is going to be ice creams out, not a problem when September comes, and they are both at school or pre-school. (That’s £7 saved straight off!)
Things like buying coffee, soft drinks, appetizers, and desserts add up quickly, the school holidays haven’t been kind, so I’m hoping it will just fall naturally into place because we basically only have weekends to go out, and most of them will be spent running the kids to their clubs etc.
I also plan on having a few £18 and £16 shopping weeks. My weekly food bill can be £40 if we go crazy, and that’s at a discount store, so even if we have a few lean weeks and a few £30 weeks, that’s my saving too.
What do you think? Have you tried a saving challenge and stuck to it?