Yes, it's true - Monday is here already again! How quickly the weekend goes by, especially as an adult! Since everyone seems to dread the "M" word, I felt this would be a good day to add something positive. Tips and information on Managing your Money.
For week 1 - I wanted to share in some of my strategies of how to save for future purchases, which for me is always so hard, since there is always something I could be doing with my money NOW!
Saving for Christmas: with 5 kids and multiple nephews and nieces this can seem daunting and as the time gets closer be very stressful when money is tight. This year I have decided that I will begin saving now, even if it is a little at a time. My strategy to saving without it hurting as much is via rebates. I have decided that I will not purchase any item that has a rebate unless the money to pay for the item without the rebate is in my budget. That way when the rebate comes in the money goes directly into my Christmas savings. Last week alone with the Hasbro deal's at Toys R Us, and the Seventh Generation rebate I will have an additional $22 towards Christmas. I also have $29 coming from Rite Aid for March. With these amounts, I will have a total of $124. This may not seem like a lot, but it is the first week of April, so even if I am only saving the same amount every quarter, that is $500 I will have saved for Christmas - and with my ability to get deals that should cover 2 1/2 to 3 of the kids alone. Another way I work towards Christmas is buying small stocking items along the way. My kids are at the age (at least the oldest 4 who are 10 - 16 years) where you can't gauge their size or taste even 3 months in advance so I have to be careful, so stocking stuffers work well. For my 20 month old, I feel pretty safe about buying a few toys when they are an exceptional deal. I already have his birthday presents and about 3 for Christmas. By picking up cute nail polish, lip gloss, cute socks, cologne, etc along the way it helps me have that much more done by December and helps to distribute the cost so that I barely notice when I pick up an item or two.
When I plan ahead it helps my stress level go down and I feel more secure. I start saving money for school supplies in June. June, July and August I put aside $50 a month for backpacks, pens, pencils, and the first round of fees. It hurts much less when I put a little aside for a few months rather than it all is out of just Augusts’ budget. I also try to pick up extra supplies when they are on clearance or a really good deal at other times, to again give a little relief on the budget all at once. I try this method for most things. I budget a designated amount each month for the three months before our summer vacation at the beach for extras and food. It can be hard, and sometimes I really really think I need to use that money, but I try to pretend that it isn't there until the reason I am saving it arrives.
How do you save for future purchases? What plan of action do you have to help you through? I would love for anyone to share; maybe you do something that would help me or others!