I bet I speak for most of us when I say that we could all use an extra pay at Christmastime. Who wouldn’t?

While not being able to dole an extra pay out to everyone, there is something I can point out: if you’re paid fortnightly, there are a couple months each year when you do get an extra pay.

Since there are 26 fortnights a year, not just 24, those two extra pays must fall somewhere during the year, and there’s usually one in the run up to Christmas. If you’re getting paid tomorrow, for instance, that’s three for August. If you get paid next week, looks like your three will come in October.

Now many household bills are monthly, so there should definitely be some surplus in those months when the extra fortnightly pay rolls in. That’s perfect for re-routing that money towards your holiday fund.

For those of us paid monthly, we’ll just have to content ourselves with trying to save a bit more during the slightly shorter months of September and November. (Too bad February doesn’t fall in the spring.)

The longer days are coming…

‘Christmas? Aaaargh!’ That’s the reaction I got from one of our team when I told her I was writing a holiday-planning post this week. It feels like we’re not even over winter yet; forget about getting ready for summer!

But it will come around before you know it.

Working backwards, with less time available

Now eight weeks ago, in a post to get our Christmas planning underway, I fired up Sorted’s savings calculator and hung up some targets for us all to hit, which looked like this:

If you’d like this much for the holidays by 15 December…

… aim to set aside this much each week:

$500

$21

$700

$30

$1,000

$42

$1,200

$51

$1,500

$64

 

Now all is not lost if you didn’t get started way back then – there’s still time. But here’s what the numbers look like now:

If you’d like this much for the holidays by 15 December…

… aim to set aside this much each week:

$500

$32

$700

$45

$1,000

$64

$1,200

$77

$1,500

$96

 

As you can see, those numbers are creeping up. Starting to save $64 a week 8 weeks ago would have given us $1,500 – if we started now it would only come out to $1,000. That being said, it’s certainly not too late to set up an automatic payment into an online savings account. These days it takes all of 15 minutes to set up.

Money gets spent sooner or later – the question is whether it will be when we really want it to or whether it will slip through our fingers before then. Timing is everything.

And the sooner we start, the more chance we’ll have of avoiding dumb debt when the holidays are here. Let’s give our credit cards a rest this Christmas, shall we?

Now that’s something worth aspiring to.

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