SC Johnson Family Economics Blog
Thursday, September 23, 2010

Saving Today for the Holidays | Family Economics

By Andrea

I am not known as the crafty one in our family when it comes to making gifts. However, I am creative when it comes to planning the holiday gift budget. Creating our budget months in advance helps us to stay within a reasonable amount for all required holiday travel and gift giving.

Here are a few ways you can save now to have your budget funded for holiday giving:

Plan Purchases

These are purchases you can start making today (and this can certainly apply during holiday shopping as well). By planning purchases, you can likely save at least 10 percent on your purchase. My rule is to never buy something unless it represents at least a 20 percent savings. Getting those types of sales and prices requires planning.

For everyday purchases such as grocery and hygiene items, we save an average of $400 a month! Those savings are well within your reach if you are beginning to shop with a focus! However, planning is key and doesn’t take much effort to see immediate results.

Raise Insurance Deductibles

We typically review our deductibles and rates every 18-24 months. While we were planning for our normal review, we were prompted to take a look sooner thanks to a toddler’s creativity (it involved water, I’ll leave it at that). This potential homeowner’s claim got us looking at our finances to determine if a higher deductible was feasible (over filing a minor claim).

As a result of our rate and deductible review, we decided we could afford a higher deductible (and hoping we don’t have to file anything, of course). With this simple review, and some changes that made sense for our lifestyle, we increased our deductibles and had some wiggle room in our budget. Come December, this change will save us around $100!

Collective Buying

While collective buying is all the rage nowadays, we have been doing this for years! Just this summer, our lawn was looking sad so we decided to find a professional to help. Through talking to our friends, they were looking for the same thing. After a few calls, both of our families received a discounted rate that will save us around $100 by the time we start to decorate for the holidays!

Talk to friends about products or services that you both need. Find a company that can meet the need and negotiate a discounted rate with your collective buying. The savings will vary depending on the service, but it can help you save today.

What other things have you done that can make an immediate impact to your budget and savings goals?

3 Comments so far

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On Friday, September 24, 2010, Kaycee wrote

We actually have an auto-transfer that comes out of every check when it direct deposits. It goes to a savings account that is calculated to cover car insurance and Christmas gifts every year. Makes it SO much less stressful to shop knowing I can shop whenever I see the deals and there is money waiting to pay for it!

On Thursday, September 23, 2010, Lori wrote

Planning purchases is a biggie for us. Thanks for the great info Andrea!

On Thursday, September 23, 2010, Greg from Mason wrote

Andrea, a couple thoughts on how to generate additional savings on your insurance: 1) buy from an insurance broker (provides quotes from lots of different insurance companies) as opposed to buying from an independent agent. I made this change last year and it has saved me over 30% on my auto and homeowner's insurance. 2) Compare life insurance prices before you buy through your company's plan. I had always assumed I was doing good group purchasing by buying through my company. For some companies, that is true. But, I saved over 70% this year by also buying my life insurance from the insurance broker. These changes alone will fund my holiday purchases for this year.

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