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Save All Year Long – Frugal Friday Tip #19. Today I’m going to share with you why you should save all year long and how to go about doing that.
Saving all year long? Sounds nuts huh? Not really, and the best part, if you save all year long, I can guarantee a few great things!
Katrina, what great things are you talking about?
Hang on and I’ll share them with you in just a minute, but first, I want to tell about my favorite ways to get things free!
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Why You Should Save All Year Long
I know what you are thinking. You’ve heard for years that you should save money every month. Sure. You should, but don’t you ever wonder why?
The short answer is that you should always have things you are saving for. In our household, we do a zero-based budget, which means we budget every last dollar we make, each month.
That way, we give our money a name and tell it where to go. If you don’t tell it where to go, down to the last dollar, it will disappear (on fancy coffee, takeout, etc).
When it comes to saving, you should save for specific things, not just have a general savings account with a bunch of money in it. Tell that money what it’s for. Why are saving it? What is it being saved for?
How To Save All Year Long
To give you a practical example oh how to save all year long, here is how that plays out in my house. Every month we save money for Christmas. Starting in January. That way, when December arrives, just like it does every year, we have a pile of money saved for gifts. The best part, we don’t fight about money and the stress is gone!
Typically, as the year rolls by, we may add a little more to the Christmas savings fund if we think we might want to get a more expensive gift for one of our kids. The best part about saving for specific things is that you can always add more to the fund. Or take money out of the fund if you need to.
Debt Free Christmas
Wondering how we determined how much to save each month for Christmas? It was simple!
We sat down and came up with a quick spreadsheet that included all the people we will need to buy gifts for.
We also listed the fun things we might want to do at Christmas (like going to a play or special event). As well as any non-gift expenses we might have (like stamps for Christmas cards, etc).
We then give each item an approximate price and divide the total by 12 (for 12 months – you would need to divide by how many months you have left until Christmas).
Which tells us how much money we need to save each month in order to have a stress-free Christmas.
Lucky for you, I’ve made a nice Debt Free Christmas Budget worksheet that you can snag for free right now if you want to start planning for Christmas right now!
The same savings system can work for just about anything you need to save for. Another thing you might want to save all year long for are birthday gifts for friends and family.
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Birthday Savings Fund
Make a list of all your family members you need to buy gifts for each year and plan for those when you do your monthly budget committee meeting. Each month, set aside a certain amount to add to a Birthday Savings Fund. That way you will have enough saved up to cover all the birthdays gifts you will need to buy.
We like to add a little extra to the pot for new friends we meet along the way that we weren’t planning for. That way you can always do something nice for the people who matter most to you, on their special day.
Personally, I love my birthday more than any other day of the year! I love to celebrate it, and I also love to celebrate the birthday of those closest to me, and make it as meaningful as possible. Which is probably why I love to plan and host very creative birthday parties on a shoestring budget for my kids.
Fun on a budget, that’s what I’m all about!
While we are on the topic of birthday parties on a budget, check out these posts for inspiration.
- 10 Easy Ways to Save Money on Kids Birthday Parties
- Only Supplies You Need For a Kids Birthday Party on a Budget
- How To Make a Pinata The Easy Way
Save All Year Long
Learning to save all year long is a very useful skill, but making sure you are saving with a purpose is the key! Plus, you will greatly reduce your money stress if you can learn to be diligent about saving regularly. You can do it too!
What’s the hardest part about saving for you?
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