You’re probably thinking to yourself “The Holiday season just ended. Why is this crazy girl already posting about Black Friday?”
I’m already posting about Black Friday because I LOVE the holiday season. I enjoy so many aspects about the holiday season: The friends, family, travel, tradition, and of course, gift giving…
The challenge that I faced in the past was financial planning for the holiday season. For so long, I would get to the end of November and early December and wouldn’t have anything specific set aside for holiday travel or christmas gifts. This led to me taking out of savings to pay for Christmas gift or even worse, not saving anything and putting an entire paycheck towards gifts.
When I got married I realized this had to stop. We started doing a lot more holiday travel and increased gift giving. This meant spending a lot more money and it made sense to go into the holidays prepared.
I tried a few different things in the last few years, but this year we tried a method that worked wonderfully! Basically, we set up a line item in our budget or “bill” to ourselves for Christmas. I want to help you be prepared for this time next year and I’ve got an easy way for you to save $500 by next Black Friday! If you need to save $1,000, just double the plan.
Today is January 1st. Black Friday is on November 23. That means you have 326 days to save $500 (did I do my math right for the days?). That’s incredibly realistic. That means you need to save roughly $1.54 a day.
That’s right $1.54 a day. That’s less than your coffee habit… that’s less than you amazon habit… that’s less than your eating our habit… $1.54 a day is easy.
I’ll make this plan for 46 weeks. I’ll start off slow and ease you in!
Weeks 1 and 2: $5 a week
Weeks 3 through 37: $10 a week
Weeks 38 through 45: $15 a week
Week 46: $20
In 46 weeks you’ll have saved $500 and you’ll have 4 days to spare before Black Friday!
The hardest part is not touching that money before Black Friday. Some easy suggestions for setting the money aside:
- Open an online checking or savings account not connected to your main checking account. Some banks will even give you free money for opening up an account.
- Get cash every week. Go to the bank (or get cash back while you’re grocery shopping) and put the allocated amount in an envelope. Add cash to the envelope every week and you’ll have $500 in cold hard cash set aside for holiday shopping.
- If you’re like me and have a paypal account that you don’t use: put the money in a paypal account every week and transfer it back come holiday season.