We officially only have 8 weeks until Christmas. Hopefully you've already started saving for your Christmas plans, but if you haven't, don't fret. I found an amazing 12 week savings plan from How Does She. I know what you're thinking. Liv, you said 12 week savings plan and there's only 8 weeks until Christmas. You can automatically deposit the missed weeks if you want, or just skip them. You may not make it all the way to $1000, but at least you'll have a pretty penny saved for the holidays. Here's a look at the chart.
As you can see, as each week progresses you'll be asked to save more and more. But some weeks require less, so you won't feel the pinch too much. This CAN be done. If you don’t have a budget yet, take some time to create one with this goal in mind. Get rid of the small expenses that add up over time! Living a balanced life requires saying “no” more than saying “yes”. This applies to finance and fitness. It is not about deprivation, it’s about self-control.
Below are a few suggestions to help you reach your goals:
Limit eating out to once per week (or none)
- When you do eat out, choose a restaurant that is inexpensive.Value meals are your best friend!
- Not only will only eating out once per week help your wallet but it will also help your waistline. You will be in complete control of what goes into your food and how much you eat! Try a few of our most popular recipes!
- Skip the drinks – water is free at most places.
- Skip the appetizers and desserts. If you must have dessert, limit it to once a week and buy it from the grocery store. It’s much less expensive to go to the grocery store and buy ice cream (or make your own using frozen banana and peanut butter!) than it is to buy dessert at restaurants.
Skip the pampering (manicures, pedicures, massages)!
- I know this one might sound harsh but it has to be done. These extra expenses add up very quickly. Do your nails yourself or let them have a break for a few months!
Stay at home for entertainment
- Do you go to the movies or to sporting events frequently? Cut back on those for the next 12 weeks. Rent a movie (there are many different low budget options for this!), cook dinner at home, and have a great family night! If you enjoy sporting events, instead of going to watch a game, have your family join in on the fun and go play baseball, tennis, or golf together. The weather is also great this time of year to go hiking!
Eliminate unnecessary errands
- Not only do unnecessary errands add to your gas budget but when you go to run errands you normally end up buying things that you don’t need. Keep a weekly list of things that you need to do and/or buy. Try to stick with the list and keep your errands to only a few times per week.
I hope these tips help you reach your goal of vacationing debt free. Keep in mind that you can always adjust to what your budget allows. If this is truly too much for to you save each month, half the amount. If you are able to save more, double it! I can’t wait to hear your success stories!