Christmas is the time of year when you spend time with your loved ones. However, it can get pretty expensive when you have to buy gifts and other holiday items. Inflation is taking a toll on most of us so it’s more important than ever to create a budget this holiday season and stick to it while shopping for gifts.
In this blog, I’ll teach you how to budget for Christmas, provide a holiday gift guide as well as how to resist falling for holiday deals that can hurt your budget.
How To Budget For Christmas
Having Christmas on a budget is easier than you think. The holidays don’t need to be stressful when you have a budget and stick to it. Careful planning and implementing cost-efficient strategies can help reduce costs and keep Christmas from negatively impacting your finances.
Creating Your Christmas Budget
To start, create a budget that you can afford. This will require you to take a look at your income and what you have put aside for Christmas shopping already. Knowing what amount you can afford in a budget can help you contain the costs of Christmas. The amount you should spend will be based on what you make, what you’ve saved for Christmas, and what you can move around in your budget to get the job done.
You will also want to make a list of everyone you will be gifting and a set amount of how much you will spend for each person. Be sure to track your spending as you go through your list so you don’t end up overspending.
If you end up spending less on a gift, you can take that extra money and put it to good use or save it for the next year. You can also move that money around your budget and make it fit in for someone else’s gift.
It’s also a good idea to start setting up a Christmas fund if you don’t already have one. This will allow you to start saving for the next Christmas so you’re not tight on money when the time comes.
For your Christmas fund goal this year, take a look at how much you spent on Christmas gifts last year. This will help you figure out if you overspent, and whether you need to increase your budget or lower it. You will also get a better idea of where you can cut back this year. Set a goal amount for your Christmas fund and use your Christmas budget to help you get there.
Here are some additional ways to save money during the holiday season:
How To Avoid Overspending
There are many other ways to avoid overspending such as creating your Christmas shopping list and sticking to it. Another way to save is to cut out those stocking stuffers. Although they are items that are less expensive, they can add up very quickly.
Giving essential gifts such as socks, clothing and other essentials is a sure way that the recipient will use them. You can teach your kids to appreciate essential gifts when they have to spend their own money when it comes to gifting rather than the parents.
Lastly, if your office is holding a voluntary gift giving ritual, feel free to opt-out of it. These are expenses that can add up and that money could potentially go to another gift or your Christmas fund.
Setting Budget Boundaries
Once you have made your budget, you should also set boundaries and be firm with them. Boundaries include setting expectations with your children by letting them know that there is a certain amount you will be spending.
If you have a large family, it’s best to have the conversation and collectively agree to do secret Santa rather than a “traditional” gift-giving Christmas. That way everyone gets a gift and each person is only responsible for getting a gift for one person.
For those who aren’t family members, you can look into some homemade gifts such as jams or baked goods to give out. This can help cut costs while still giving a little gift to celebrate the season. For some Christmas gift ideas, check out my gift guides that include options for everyone.
Get Creative With Your Gifts
Another way to have Christmas on a budget is to get creative with your gifts. Handmade gifts are just as meaningful if not more than a store bought gift. Handmade gifts are also less expensive. Try knitting a scarf or creating a photo album. These can be kept for years and will hold more meaning than something bought from the store.
Homemade cards and craft paper for gift wrapping are great cost-efficient ways to save some money. You can always find materials around the home that you can make into gift wrapping or purchase some from the dollar store. This makes your gifts look crafty and unique. It is also is a good way to recycle and reduce waste in landfills.
Have a Budget Conscious Christmas!
Do you have other Christmas budget ideas? Let me know in the comments below!