MoneyGalCoaching.com Money Coach Kelly Blodgett has great advice about the upcoming holidays; that is; we should have already been saving. Are you someone who puts a little money back all year long for the Christmas season? What do you save money for? How do you decide how much you should be putting back?

With just a couple months until the Christmas holiday, it really doesn't give us much time to start saving money. What are your options? Are you gonna run up your credit cards again this Christmas? Have you paid off last years holiday debt? There IS a better way.

Photo by Kelly Blodgett

Kelly Blodgett has these tips for you so you can start thinking about a way to make this years holiday season less stressful, and to be in much better shape next year.

Listen to our interview from Thursday, October 8th at 11:15 am by clicking on the player below.

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HOW DO I KNOW HOW MUCH MONEY TO SAVE?

Kelly says it's already October. If you really want to have a financially stress free holiday, be honest with yourself upfront.  Ask yourself these questions:

  • How much are you going to spend on decorations
  • How much are you going to spend on holiday lights
  • How many people are you planning on buying gifts for
  • How much money do you plan on spending for wrapping paper, ribbons and bows?
  • Are you serving the holiday meal? How many guests will you be preparing food for?
  • Are you going to help Santa fill those stockings hanging by the fire place?
  • Will you be baking? Spending money on baking goods, frostings, decorative candies?

Wow! Now that you look at it that way; it looks to me like Christmas might need a budget way before October.  Answer the questions and look at the cost. Do you have this money in your budget for this holiday?

WHAT IF I CAN'T SAVE THIS MUCH PER MONTH?

Here is reality. This year; if you've not been saving; maybe it's time for reality check. Look at your list, and see where you can cut back on expenses. Maybe this year, don't buy any lights. Maybe bake fewer cookies, maybe have a gift limit for your family members? Maybe this is the year where you don't have Christmas for the entire family? Or ask everyone to bring something potluck and share the expense.

HOW TO SAVE MONEY

Kelly says that there are ways to cut corners without feeling the pain:

  • Buy discounted wrapping paper rather than the super duper fancy stuff.There are lots of places that offer cheaper wrapping paper, like Walmarts or TJ Maxx.
  • Stick to off brand food when preparing large meals.
  • Agree to buy meaningful gifts; don't throw money at things that mean nothing.
  • Instead of buying gifts, consider making gifts for your loved ones.
  • Buy your gifts earlier.
  • Look for online deals.
  • Buy your gifts in multiples instead of one thing at a time. This will help you save on shipping costs for online ordering, and gas if you're headed to the mall.

WANT MORE GREAT BUDGETING IDEAS?

Kelly Blodgett is a Minnesota gal with great advice. You can learn more and even hire her to be your coach, at Moneygalcoaching.com.  You can also listen to Kelly LIVE every Thursday at 11:15am on "It Matters with Kelly Cordes" on AM1240 and 95.3 FM WJON.