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At our house, September is one of the more eagerly anticipated months. Not only is the weather pleasant and the kids finally back in school, our household expenses are at their lowest levels for the year. While some families use September savings to catch up on other bills, we see this as an opportunity to jump start our savings for Christmas.
Here's just a few of the ways that we take advantage of September deals and money earning opportunities to put a little cash away for the Christmas holidays.
Divert utility savings into the bank. September's mild weather means that we can get by without the air conditioning or furnace, which saves us a bundle on energy costs. When I pay September's ultra low utility bills in the first week of October, I take the extra money that would have been going to gas and electricity and shift it to a Christmas savings fund instead.
Pull money out of the grocery fund. September is also when our grocery bills drop, thank to harvest time when stores fill up with steeply discount seasonal produce. We take advantage of cheap deals on summer squashes, watermelons, and other seasonal foods and move the money normally spent on groceries into our Christmas savings account too.
Maximize that third paycheck. Around September or October is when employees on a biweekly pay schedule see an "extra" paycheck. This is a great time to pay down outstanding bills, take care of needed home repairs, or jump start an emergency savings account. I deposit 10% of that extra money into our Christmas fund and use the rest to make an extra mortgage payment.
Have an end of the season yard sale. September's mild weather makes it a great time to have one last yard sale before the end of the season. The money earned here can join the rest of your cash in the Christmas savings account or converted into gift cards at stores where your family does their Christmas shopping.
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