I know it seems a little early to be thinking about Christmas, since we are just hitting the half-year point and our family resentment is currently at its yearly low. Expense wise, the summer months are usually the lowest due to the warm weather and the plethora of free activities available, making it the idea time to save for Christmas. I have written about business vs. personal finance mentalities, and a business plans its year in advance. So should you.
Cancel your gym membership
If you are like the 67% of people who have a gym membership and never use it, you should cancel it anyway. However, if you are the type that loves to be outdoors during the summer, but in fact utilize a gym in the winter then you should consider seasonal membership. Most gyms allow members to “freeze” memberships, which allows them to not pay for a period and avoid paying join-up fees twice.
Grilling is not only a manly activity, but an activity that is social, fun, and cost efficient. By not maximizing your heat but instead allowing it to cook longer you will save on gas, and the loss of moisture in the meat will gain you man-points with your friends. Grilling is also a very efficient way to remove fat from hamburger meat, meaning you no longer have to pony- up for the lean variety.
Of all the tips, this one is paramount to being properly prepared for Christmas. You want to place the money you are able to save during the summer months in a safe, secure and accessible place. Pending your banking options, an institution near you may be able to provide a variety of options—a sort of “one stop shop”—allowing you to invest your money in a manner you are comfortable with. Stocks, bonds, mutual funds, and CD’s are all viable choices, however given the short time horizon and the need for liquidity high interest savings accounts will help the most. If your current bank is not providing you with one, perhaps it is time to switch.
Bring the Party to You
Summer is all about being social. Throw a BYOB party at your place, or convince your more social friends to and then show up and leave the mess to them. I am available for friendship related advice too, you know. This is an inexpensive way to socialize during the summer that takes advantage of the warm weather, the inexpensive nature of liquor store bought booze vs. bar bought booze, and gullible designated drivers.
Attend community events
The summer months are when cities put on the majority of their planned community events, most of which are free. Given, some may not be your scene (Polka dancing! Craft festivals!), so skip those. However, if you normally spend $40 on an evening out on the town and instead attend four community events, you may have saved for Christmas. Who knows, you may even meet some of your neighbors.
Do you have any other tips that may help people save for Christmas during the summer?
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