How to Create a Holiday Savings Scheme
One should start a holiday savings scheme as soon as possible, but for the sake of discussion, let us assume the holidays are over, it is January 2nd, and you are over your hangover and ready to start saving. The first step is to open a bank account - you need a set place to keep as much money as you can that is not shared with money for other purposes. This needs to be a separate savings account than your general savings, because you want to make sure that you are saving for the specific purpose of the holidays - not just saving generally. If you save the holiday money with the rest of your savings you may be tempted to tap into it and justify it as taking money out of your general savings.
Once you have started a holiday savings account, calculate your budget and try to figure out how much you can afford to lose each month. £10? £25? £1000? It does not matter. As long as you can afford to save it, take it out and put it in your holiday savings every month as soon as you receive your pay check. Do not wait to see how much you have left over - if you put it in your savings as soon as your paycheck is received, you will not be tempted to spend it.
Get the Family Involved
The savings account is only a first step. Once you have the money in your savings, you can try to save in other ways. If you have a family, consider placing a very large jar somewhere in your home or flat and have your entire family put their excess coins in there when they have them in their pocket. As the jar builds up, that money will someday go towards the holidays and refilled every year. Your family will enjoy seeing how much they save during the year, and may even try to beat that number the following year.Finally, not only should you put money in the account when you have some left over at the end of the month, but you should also use the account as a way to "pre-buy" gifts you plan on getting. Is your child wanting a new video game system for the holidays? Do you expect to buy it for them? Take the money that you would spend for the system and place it in the holiday account. There it will accrue interest and, when the time comes to actually buy the system, you will have every bit of that money available for spending (plus a few extra pounds).
If you do not have enough for all of your expenses, you can get a holiday loan to cover the rest. But at the very least you will have a significant chunk of the holidays covered, so you won't be left broke by the time the holidays are over.