Monday, October 13, 2014

Holiday Shopping on a Teacher's Budget

I accomplished a major task this weekend - I finished all of my Christmas shopping (I know, yes, it's October).  I love getting it all out of the way early because then I get to enjoy the holidays and do fun stuff like baking and watching holiday movies without worrying about when I'm going to pick up those last couple of gifts.

I usually have to spread out the gift-buying, waiting for my next pay check to pick up the rest of the presents on my list, but I tried something new this year and it worked so well that I had to share - I'll definitely be doing this again! The idea is simple - you put aside a little money each week, and by the end of the year you should have more than enough to complete your holiday shopping.

For this particular savings plan, the amount that you put away increases gradually each week, the first week you save one dollar.  The second week you add $2, and the third week $3, until the last week of the year when you add $52 and your total savings is $1,378.00.  That's a pretty incredible number! I originally saw this idea on The College Prepster with a great printable check sheet to help keep track of your savings.  I used that checklist this year, but I've designed my own for next year, and I'm going to share it with you so that you can start planning now!


You can download my savings tracker here.  There are a couple of things that worked for me this year that might help you out.  For starters, I put all of my savings in a jar dedicated just for this purpose.  This helped me to be really disciplined about not taking any money out before I needed it.  I was able to do all of my Christmas shopping in one weekend because for the first time in my life I actually had enough money.  Even though I'm done shopping, I'm still going to keep adding to the jar for the rest of the year - Maybe I'll be able to do something fun for myself with it!

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