We do not have any major credit cards and haven't in at least 5 years. The majority of our Christmas presents are cash. I do have some store credit that I occasionally use, but am trying really hard not to. Anyway, what I did was I opened an account at ING DIRECT
and named it Christmas Account. If you haven't used them yet, I absolutely love them. I started using ING back in 2001 & have almost completely switched everything over to them. They have a nice interest rate, no minimums at all, savings & checkings accounts, plus Cd's, etc.
Every month I add whatever money I can to the account for Christmas. Then when I need to buy something I just transfer the money over to my Electric Orange from ING DIRECT, checking account. It makes it easy to both save & buy for Christmas. Plus I earn interest both in the savings account and the checking account.
Ideally what I would like to be able to do is to just transfer a set amount out of each paycheck. However, we do not receive a steady pay check; my husband does Home Improvements and I sell on Ebay. If you do receive a paycheck, I suggest figuring out your target goal for Christmas. Then divide by the number of paychecks you will receive to figure out what you need to save out of each paycheck.
If you can't save the entire amount, anything is better then nothing. You can also look for ways of saving money throughout the year. Cindy's Porch is a fabulous website for ways of saving for a cash Christmas. I highly recommend joining her newsletter list. I have been getting them since the very first one & just LOVE them!!!
Good luck on your cash Christmas for next year & who knows maybe even this year :)
A great thing to do for next year is to set up an account and then schedule your automatic payments for January 2008. If they are automatic you will get used to budgeting in the money & will start to not even miss it. Relying on yourself is very hard to do, automatic is the key to success in this. Trust me, I know from experience!
Feel free to comment with any tips you have. If you have any questions about ING, just email me. I Love them! I think they do referral bonus still, so if you want one, just email me :)
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