It's currently December 2020 and what a year it’s been. For most it's been challenging in one way or another and with Christmas only a couple of weeks away, I'm sure there are a few people out there with the worry of what Christmas brings financially.
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Am I worried? . . . no. Now that is not because we have an endless amount of money in the bank, or that we were not affected by COVID in some way. It is simply because when it comes to Christmas I have a plan, I'm organised and know how to save money when shopping! This year I saved $1,000 between purchasing sale only items and using my inclusive $400 worth of Flybuys/Woolworths Rewards $$$. If you haven't seen my recent vlog on how much we spent and saved on Christmas this year, then be sure to head over to the This Mum At Home You Tube channel AND if your a VIP Lounge member you can view each item individually that we are giving in a show all What We Got The Kids For Christmas VIP only vlog.
My Current Gift Purchasing Process
I had finished purchasing and wrapping gifts for my kids by the end of this November. I purchased gifts all through the year at various places with the bulk of my items through the annual BIG W Toy Sale. I didn't purchase everything on the day, I instead made sure I took advantage of the 6 month layby option to ensure it was stored away from the house and to see if anything I chose would no longer be suitable by the end of the year. It helped me save a lot of money and not leave it until the last minute scrambling for $$$. Yes there were some items I returned out of that BIG W layby, but the best part of it was I had my refund to go and purchase replacements. So unintentionally it was kind of like having a savings account lol lol lol.
HOWEVER please do not get the wrong idea. I would absolutely NOT encourage putting on massive laybys that you can not afford or that you're going to go and cancel. It’s not the right thing to do and that is one of the reasons Kmart and Target no longer do their annual big toy sales. The last thing we all want is for Big W to cancel theirs lol lol lol. I would suggest putting together a plan going in with a list/budget and sticking to it. You can view how I do that myself on this Simple Sundays vlog - Smart Gift Planning For Christmas. I use these super printables and it helps me stay on track and not impulse buy.
What I Want To Do Different This Year
Buying things along the way is how I've always done it, as it does relieve the pressure of saving large specific amounts of money each week when my income is unpredictable and living expenses vary. However, with the kids getting older it is hard nowadays to buy their main gifts too far ahead in time. They tend to mature through the year and minds change with the more they discover.
So in the coming year I DO want to wait until closer to November for their main gifts. I DO NOT though want to have any pressure to, like I said, save large specific amounts of money every week. I wanted to find a way to relieve that, especially the closer we get to the end of the year. How am I going to do that? Well, I think I’ve found the perfect solution!
How The Challenge Normally Works
Have you heard of the Original 52 Week Savings Challenge that gets you to save $1378? Have you heard of the REVERSE 52 Week Savings Challenge? Basically you save a certain amount of money each week for the 52 weeks in the year.
Keeping You On Track - $3.95 Christmas 2pk $1300 Christmas Savings Challenge Printables IF YOU ARE A VIP MEMBER THEY ARE FREE !
The genius thing about the original challenge is that it is not ever the same amount and it is also never more than $52. In fact on the Original 52 Week Savings Challenge you only save the amount of money that equals the week your in eg week 1 you save $1, week 30 you save $30 and so on. It is genius as you do not have the constant pressure of a large amount eg $50 a week every week when you know sometimes due to life you just can't do it.
What I LOVE about the Reverse 52 Week Savings Challenge is that you put the amounts into reverse, so you're not saving the larger amounts weekly towards the end of the week. Instead you start your year off with the larger amounts and work backwards eg week 1 you save $52, week 2 you save $51, week 3 you save $50 … so through the year the amounts you are saving are getting less and less. By around November you are saving less than $15 every week and by the 4 weeks in December you're saving a total of only $10 for the month! So it really does relieve a lot of pressure. Personally for me I have school finishing, final school fees due, preparations for next years schooling, Christmas, my son and husband's birthdays, New Years and summer holidays. It really is a super busy and expensive time of year here in this household!
How I'm Doing My Own Christmas Savings Challenge
With the Reverse 52 Week Savings Challenge in mind, I have decided to do something similar. Instead I'm doing it only for 40 weeks, so it hits right around November with time to get the last of my main gift purchases. Under the normal 52 weeks you save $1378, only doing it for 40 weeks you save $1300. So I'll only be short $78 and I'll be cashed up nicely in time to take advantage of end of year sales such as Black Friday. It also means right around the time of the annual BIG W Toy Sale (may/June) I'll have around $1,000 saved already. So I could purchase outright OR still put my layby on but pay my layby fortnightly out of the savings rather than my weekly expenses money.
I think this is the perfect solution to where I want to head with Christmas 2021 and beyond. I also think this is the perfect solution for most of you mums out there feeling the financial pinch of Christmas.
So If you would like to join my $1300 40 Week Christmas Savings Challenge, you can use this simple tracking printable and digital Christmas envelope to get started.
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