You are so right about spare change adding up, it's a great way to save without a big impact on your monthly budget.
I like to put away a few £ every month. It's nice to have it at the end of the year. It may not be enough to cover everything but it sure does help! I have never done the christmas clubs because over here they are a bit limited.
I like your idea of saving on a giftcard for one of your favourite shops. How pleasing it must be to have this to put toward your shopping!
I also save up my loyalty points and use them toward christmas shopping. One of the shops offer double the value of the points coupons for christmas so for e.g last year I had about £50.00 worth to use toward gifts for the kids!
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We have Christmas Club at our bank. They take an amount out of our bank every week. Plus, every time I come home I have a cup that I put all my change in. Thats usually 3 or 4 dollars a week and it add up quick.
Have glove will travel
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I usually start taking money out each week and put it aside. I also try to buy gifts throughout the year on sale so it does not seem as if I am spending too much at one time. I ram probably spending the same amount but it makes me feel better..lol
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When I was working, I would sit down at the beginning of the year and make out a budget. I would plan what every paycheck I would get was for and then write it on the calendar on the corresponding paydays. The goal was to always have the 2 paychecks in November free for Christmas shopping.
Since I am in charge of my mom's finance's, I do it the same way for her.