I know it’s only March but I’m already thinking about Christmas. To be completely honest, I tend to start thinking about Christmas early in January. You see, Erin’s birthday is on New Year’s Day and we always have a lot going on from the beginning of December to the beginning of January. Between any Christmas activities, any last minute presents to buy, Christmas meals and our very own Christmas dinner, there is a lot to think about in the space of one month… and that’s without adding in Erin’s birthday.
I always feel like money needs to be stretched further than really possibly in December and this year I want to do things differently. I want to be able to enjoy to lead up to Christmas without thinking about if we can afford some extra treats or another meal out.
It was maybe a couple of months ago that I was stood behind someone in the queue in Sainsbury’s. I was just waiting to pay for my shopping when I overheard what the person in front of me was asking for. They had a Sainsbury’s savings card and I never knew they did these before. Of course, I knew about regular gift cards but not a card that you can save on regularly.
In past years we have really had to budget for our main Christmas meal. We don’t splash out at Waitrose or M&S and we don’t get any fancy puddings. We basically have the same kind of dinner that we would on a regular Sunday with maybe a bit of extra veg or a bigger chicken (we definitely don’t have turkey). Although we’re trying to be more sensible with money in a lot of ways it would be nice to be able to buy whatever we like for Christmas dinner without having to think whether or not it is in our budget.
After realising that I could start a savings card with the supermarket I shop at almost daily I decided to give it a go this year. It’s all well and good saving cash in a pot but it’s easy to be tempted to dip into it now and again. I’ve given myself a goal of putting either £5 a month, or £10 every other month, on to the savings card all the way up to 1st December. This way I will have a minimum of £60 to spend on Christmas food. If we can afford to put a bit more on the card then we will but this is my basic goal.
We tend not to miss £5 a month and this seems like a really simple way to save up to pay for our Christmas dinner in advance without really thinking about it or it being too much of an effort. You can add to the card from just £1 as well so it’s really easy to top up if you don’t have a lot spare!