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Last year I met a lady who does ShopKick and so do I. She was so interesting to talk to and gave some advice on how she saves for the holidays at the end of the year. She gives herself an allowance of X amount that she puts aside every week or month.It gives her enough flexibility at the end of the year, plus her ShopKick gift cards. She gives them as gifts. I have learned to give consumables rather than stuff that grows into clutter. It might offend some people if they know how much you have spent on them, so far no one has balked at going out to eat. If they don't care for the gift card, they can re-gift it easily.

I save all the change I receive and at the end of the year, I give cash to my grandchildren as an extra gift for Christmas so if they are disappointed in anything they get or if they didn't get what they had hoped for, they have the cash. One of my daughters let's her children have half of whatever I give and she puts the other half into a savings account for the child to save for something big. It's never a lot and they are still little so getting to go to the store and buying something they choose is a real treat for both of us.

Think like a squirrel. Put all the bits and pieces into good places. All grocery shopping, eating out, and gas is paid with cash. So leftover change goes into a jar. This is earmarked for irregular giving. (We plan our yearly giving in December, but sometimes a good cause pops up, or an unexpected occasion.) Leftover gas and eating out dollars go into an envelope towards vacation "blow" money. All extra grocery cash is set aside for the garden expenses or charitable giving as well. All cash back rewards on our credit card goes into "down payment or future retirement housing". The game is to try to spend as little as possible to allow for the greatest flexibility. Our regular emergency fund is budgeted in, and we try to draw emergency funds from other accounts before touching it.

 

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