If you stop spending, you'll be able to save money for the holiday season. Bills and other household expenses might make it seem impossible, but it's not.
Danielle Marquis, adjunct professor of personal finance at Red Rocks Community College in Lakewood, Colo., suggests a compromise. "Institute two 'months of nothing' into your year, and divert all the money you save directly into a savings account titled 'Holidays,'" she says.
"When I say a 'month of nothing,' I mean you don't spend money on anything that isn't an absolute necessity. You pack your lunch for work and road trips, bring reusable water bottles to work instead of buying something from a vending machine and meet up for potlucks at friends' houses," Marquis says.
Pick any two months throughout the year to put this idea into practice. Marquis says January is easier for her, because she commits to a self-imposed detox after the excess of the holidays; and June is easier too, because it is her birthday month.
"People tend to do nice things for me to celebrate, so it's easier to do without," she says.