A Christmas budget can feel like a real drag on your holiday spirit.
But, you know what? It doesn’t have to be.
Think about it this way: when you budget, you’re being intentional. This makes your approach to shopping more meaningful and less stressful.
Don’t think less of your generosity just because you’re on a budget.
You can do Christmas on a budget and here’s how:
1. Set a budget with categories and tracking
It may seem obvious, but decide on a specific dollar amount you can spend. Remember to include all holiday expenditures, for example:
Once you set up your cost categories, determine how you will track what you spend. Some ideas include:
Choose a method you know you can maintain.
2. Do not open a new line of credit
Don’t do it. Opening a new credit card to cover your holiday costs only prolongs the financial stress.
Instead, see what “credit” you may already have.
No, not credit cards.
By “credit” we mean store points you may have forgotten about, coupons you saved, or old gift cards. Don’t forget to check with your phone and utility companies. Some award on-time bill payments with points or rewards.
You may be surprised!
3. Make a master Christmas shopping list
A master list will help you identify the items you’re shopping for, not just the people. It will also help you determine what stores you need to watch for sales. Putting together your list should take more time than the actual shopping!
Your master Christmas shopping list should include:
Revisit your list often. A simple checklist on your phone is a great way to keep your list accessible and organized.
4. Suggest a gift drawing rather than buying for everybody
Are you looking at your list and thinking, Even if I buy a candy cane for all these people I’ll be over budget? Then it’s time to refine your list.
Pro tip: Don’t forget to set a price limit for the drawing! This will avoid awkward gift imbalances and keep you on budget.
5. Consider shopping used
Secondhand stores have so many gift options! Oftentimes, you can find items that don’t appear used for a fraction of the price!
Not keen on shopping in the store? There are several ways to secondhand shop online, including:
Around the holidays, these stores and sites usually have an influx of items. This is because people are cleaning and going through old toys. All to your advantage!
6. Homemade Christmas gifts
Homemade is a nice alternative to store-bought gifts and is usually easier on the budget. You can start your search online using websites like Pinterest.
Check out our Pinterest board for ideas, here!
Find a project you are confident you can complete efficiently and within your budget. Review the instructions before you commit, just to be sure.
7. Use social media ads to your advantage
There are four ways you can make online ads support your budget and even score deals!
8. Generate some extra cash
If your budget still feels tight, you can try to generate some cash for your Christmas fund. Some easy ways to do this include:
Giving is all about the intentionality behind it. You’re planning, making a budget and sticking to it which are all admirable intentions. You’ve got this!