Every year I say that I'm going to save for Christmas spending and not wait until the last minute. But I don't. I end up charging things then feel terrible about it later. This year, though, I am saving now. I've already started saving three ways.
Here's something a few of us in the I-Team are doing. You've heard of the 52-week money challenge. You save a bit every week of the year. Many people do it by saving $1 the first week, $2 the second week, $3 the next week for 52 weeks.
I reverse that. I put in $52 the first week, $51 the second, $50 the third week and by the end of the first month I have $202 saved. If I keep it up, by the end of the year I will have saved $1,378. Cut it in half if that's too much for you. But do something.
I reverse it because I need immediate gratification. I like having $202 at the end of the first month rather than just $10. That's my personality type. And I don't want to dread each new weeks of savings by saying, 'Oh next month will be even more money.' This way each week I save less.
Also, if you're just dropping that cash in a jar, make sure it's not on the kitchen counter where you can dip into it. Put it in a closet or something. Or, better yet, at the end of each month, deposit it into your savings account.
Now here's saving plan two. It's something a co-worker showed me. Katie Muse, our digital editor, turned me and a few others onto a money savings app called Acorns. It's free to download.
What it does is invest your spare change from any account - checking, savings, credit cards, whatever you have connected to it. Let's say you spend $11.19. It will round up and take 81 cents from that account and move it into your Acorns account. It goes into the investment portfolio that you've selected. The price for this way to save is $1 a month.
Now you can do this with some checking accounts. It will round up and move that spare change to savings. You don't pay a fee for that usually, but it's also not invested. And finally, a third way to save for Christmas shopping 2017. The spare change jar. It works. Empty your pockets at the end of the day. Put your change in there.
Already I have saved $220. But, I'm not saving up for Christmas. We plan to Disney in 2018, so I'm saving up for that. I'm hoping to sock away at least $2,500 using these three ways to save.