November starts rolling around each year and Cameron and I look at our bank account and then decide to do a "cheap and homemade" Christmas. Or in other words, a "we're broke, don't buy anything!" Christmas. This Christmas (when it was too late to implement this into 2013) I saw the following pin:
Well, we were afraid that we'd lose gift cards (you know...in that super special and safe place where all things go to be safe forever?), so we came up with another plan that we think will work, and as we have more kids and they grow up it will be more fun for them as well. Here's what we decided to do.
Emilee and our friend Camille gave me an awesome chalkboard piggy bank for my birthday this past year. I was so excited to get it, but couldn't figure out just what to use it for. Vacation savings? Date night stash? Babysitter money? Well, it finally has a job. Along with being excellent entertainment for our nephews when they come to visit, The Pig is our Christmas Funds Collector.
Any money I find in pants pockets while doing laundry goes in the piggy bank. If I find cash just lying around (because we all just have cash lying around to roll in...), it goes in the pig. If we have cash that we want to donate to the funds, it goes in the pig. The rule is once the money goes in the pig, it doesn't come back out for date night, fast food, junk food, etc. Then when it comes time to do Christmas shopping we'll take it to the coinstar machine (because our bank here in town doesn't have a machine) and see how much The Pig had. We've talked about a few ideas there too. Some years we may use it for a Christmas vacation. Other years we may donate a portion (or all of it) to a family in need in the community. Other years we'll each just get a small portion of the money and divide the rest up between every kid's saving account. There are so many possibilities.
Why do I show you this now? Because if you're anything like me you saw this around Christmas, thought it'd be awesome to do, and have since forgotten about it, only to remember this coming December when it's too late. Now is a great time to start this up! If the gift card every pay check works for you, do that. If you want to get the kids involved, try designating a Christmas Change jar or piggy bank. Or set up an extra account attached to your bank account and have the bank automatically transfer $10 (or however much) in every 2 weeks (or month or whenever). I'm hoping that this will be a fun tradition that our kids will enjoy. I'm excited for it at least.