With the holidays right around the corner, it is now time to start thinking about how we will fund them. Not only do we have to think about buying gifts for family and friends, but also food and drinks for the celebrations. And don’t forget about the festive decorations and holiday attire either. These things can really add up, especially if you don’t plan for them ahead of time. So here are some of the best ways to start building up your holiday nest egg now.
This is the most important part of being properly prepared for the holidays. If you don’t have a budget already set in mind, it gets extremely easy to spend money like it’s water. None of us want to do that, and have to deal with the ramifications after the fun holiday season is over!
Setting a realistic budget is key. So go through your finances with a fine tooth comb when you have your budget meeting. This is when you will see how much wiggle room you have to start saving a little bit of money now to set aside for the holidays.
My spouse and I just talked about this very topic a few weeks ago and decided what budget we are comfortable with for the holidays. Our budget consists of:
- $125 family gift
- $40 for each child (we have 5 kids, so that equals $200)
- $25 for each family child gift swap (this is multiplied by 5 again to equal $125)
- $50 for each adult couple towards a charity
- $10 for each stocking (since we have the kids for Christmas this year, we had to include this into our budget)
- $50 each for my spouse and myself (although we don’t usually spend this much, if anything)
- $150 for our food and drink contributions for both holidays
- Total amount budgeted: $800
While that might not seem like a lot of money for a family of 7, it can really hurt our budget if we don’t plan ahead.
I really like using Personal Capital to see exactly where all of our money is located. We check it every week when we have our budget meeting and then discuss if, and where, we can move money around to serve our goals better. This is an awesome tool to have in your arsenal!
One of the best ways I have found to bring in a little extra money is through side hustles. Now, as some of you already know, my bread and butter is a multitude of different regular side hustles. But, there are times that I take on additional short term side hustles to bring in extra cash for a specific goal. The holidays just happens to be one of them.
Some great side hustles to try are:
- Freelance Writing
- Opinion Outpost
- Pinecone Surveys
- Seasonal Help
- Selling Stuff
- Survey Junkie
- Uber EATS
This season, I have just signed on for two new side hustles that should be fairly busy during the fall. One is as an organizer and the other is doing in home catering and cooking classes. I am pretty excited about these two new side hustles and to see how much they help us get towards our holiday goal faster.
Adding in side hustles to increase your income and throw that extra money towards your holiday budget is just one way to start saving now. Another great way is to connect with a few different savings apps to help you along your journey.
I, personally, use quite a few of them. This is because they are all structured a little bit differently and do different things.
Digit is a great savings app that will help you save money a little bit at a time. The app analyzes your bank account every day and moves small amounts of money into your Digit account. You can set up a bucket specifically for the holidays so you can see how much you have. You can also put in your own deposits as you bring in extra side hustle money. So this app makes it pretty easy to track your progress, and hopefully, get to your holiday budget goal faster.Savings apps and shopping apps are fantastic ways to help build your holiday nest egg faster! Click To Tweet
I also use shopping extensions/apps on my computer and phone that help me get small amounts of money. The three I use all the time are Rakuten Ebates, Ibotta, and Honey. All of these apps will reward you for your regular shopping by putting money into an account on their app. Once you have a certain amount you can cash it out for gift cards (can anyone say Amazon?) or cash via PayPal.
And to boost this even further, I have been using both the Receipt Hog and Get Upside apps for a while now, and have had great results. Receipt Hog gives me coins for uploading my receipts which then gets cashed out into an Amazon gift card or cash. Get Upside gives me money back for my gas receipts (in some places it works with grocery stores also, just not here yet), which I can then use for the same options as Receipt Hog.
All of these apps have really helped us put a decent dent in the amount of money we need for our holiday nest egg.
Holiday Nest Egg
Overall, there are so many different ways you can begin preparing for the holidays now. The biggest question is how much do you plan to spend, so that you know where to start your budgeting.
Once you have the answer to that, adding in side hustles and savings apps will help you get to your holiday nest egg goal faster. Since there are only a couple of months left now before the holiday season begins, there is no time like the present to get started.
What are some of the best ways you have found to start building up your holiday nest egg?