It seems like the holiday season sneaks up on people every year. Which is weird, because Christmas is ALWAYS on the 25th of December. 🤷🏽♂️ For those of us who celebrate, this season can really ruin your budget if you aren’t careful. This year, use this simple guide to create a Christmas budget that keeps you from spending more than you need to.
Create a Christmas budget or add a line item for
holiday-spending to your normal budget
This holiday season, ac
- Decide on a base amount for your total Christmas shopping (i.e. $500 total)
- Set individual spending amounts for each person on your gift list
Whichever method you choose, you need to add that final figure to your budget and track your spending. We don’t make a separate Christmas budget because we usually shop for gifts throughout the year (more on that later).
If you don’t have a budget already, you should create one.
Dannie made these awesome printables to help you figure out your Christmas budget. Make sure you go and download them from our free resource library!
Start saving in advance
Christmas is always on December 25th. Therefore, you can start putting money aside for your Christmas budget at the beginning of the year. The easiest way to accomplish this is by using a sinking fund.
Example: If you plan to spend $500 on gifts and you have 10 months to save, that means you should save $50 each month to have enough money for your holiday spending.
It sounds like a simple suggestion, but it could make all the difference.
Go deal hunting!
If you’ve been around here for long, you know we don’t like to buy things at full price. The same goes for Christmas shopping. Different deals happen all throughout the year but you have to be diligent about seeking them out.
We like to do all of our shopping throughout the year because we typically get better deals before the holiday rush. Plus, we aren’t stuck out in the stores with hoards of people doing their last-minute shopping.
Take advantage of monthly sales or use deal-hunting sites like Ebates or Ibotta. Make sure you’re checking your mailbox for the different coupons that get sent out as well! If you are an impulse spender, you’ll have to be mindful of what your triggers are when it comes to deal alerts via email or apps.
What about layaway?
If you don’t have Christmas gift money yet, you may ask yourself, “Should I put my gifts on layaway?” Depending on your situation, putting things on layaway could be an okay option. If you aren’t charge any interest or extra fees, go for it!
The layaway process works like this:
- Choose an item
- Pay a down payment
- Make monthly payments until the item is paid off.
- The store holds on to the item until it’s paid in full and if you cancel your payments for any reason, they’ll just refund your payments (minus the down payment).
You can read more about layaway on Walmart’s website.
Plan to have a debt-free Christmas
Do not wake up on December 26th with a boatload of debt you can’t pay off! Christmas gifts aren’t worth going into debt over. Your friends and family, should be understanding of your financial situation and not pressure you into spending more than you can afford.
If you’re going to use credit cards, we suggest making a budget first and paying the cards off before the end of the month.
That’s how we normally budget throughout the year and we don’t change that tactic when the holiday comes. Our Christmas budget gets added to our regular budget, so anything that goes onto our credit cards gets paid off before any interest is charged.
If you don’t think you can handle this, you should leave your credit cards at home and only carry cash/debit to the stores when you shop!
Make a list. Check it twice!
Saving money throughout the year and planning your holiday budget will do you no good if you overspend once you actually start Christmas shopping. The easiest way you can avoid this is by making a list beforehand.
Write down all of the holiday related items you plan to buy and then stick to it once you start shopping (the printables help with this). It’s easy to get side-tracked and just start throwing things into your cart. Sticking to a list will help keep you in check!
Your Christmas budget doesn’t need to be complicated, it just needs to work within your means. Hopefully, this guide will make holiday spending easier for you this year!
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$tay Wealthy fam,