I’m Dreaming of a Green Christmas…

Nope, not an energy efficient one, although that would be cool too. I’m talking about financing the holiday mirth next year in a way that would make credit card companies cry. I thought you all might want to get in on the fun, so I’m sharing my game plan to make it happen.

Get an idea of how much you think you’ll need. While it’s fresh in you mind, think about how much you’ve spent on gifts, food, decorating, entertaining, travel, holiday photos, etc. this year. See if there’s spots you can trim your expenses. (If you’re anything like me, there’s plenty you can eliminate and not even miss.) There. Now you have an idea of how much you need for next year.

Open an account just for Christmas. I’m opening a passport savings account at a bank that’s close to my home. It’s free, and only requires a $5 balance.

Have a monthly goal. Remember that number you came up with? Divide it by 10. That amount is your goal for each month.

Now for the fun part–filling the account! Wait, I have a few ideas on that too. So do a couple of other people ‘round the net.

  • Have you heard of Cindy’s Porch? Oh, Cindy is awesome! She recommends stashing change in a piggy bank, jar, what ever, and using that money for the holiday. I don’t have enough self control to stay away from the silver coins for a year, hence the bank account. She has other ideas for cutting costs around your home that you may not have considered before. More money for your account!
  • Are you ready to cut back or quit a vice? Cigarettes cost over $5 a pack in my area. Imagine quitting a pack a day habit. Cutting back on alcohol is another way to “find” money.
  • Speaking of found money, are you getting a tax refund? You can toss 10% of it into your account, and hardly miss it. Same with any other lump sums you may receive over the year.
  • Cut back on luxuries. For example, instead of buying the hard cover edition of your favorite author, borrow it from the library, and put what you’d pay for it in your account.
  • Coupon savings and rebates. If you don’t think these add up, think again. Missy managed to have a cash only Christmas using rebate checks to fund her account. Does that rock, or what?

Those are just some of my ideas for “account stuffing”. I’m really hoping you’ll share your ideas too. I admit, the thought of making credit card companies cry in January, 2011 Works For Me!

Be sure to check out the other awesome ideas over at We Are THAT Family.

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