We all enjoy being able to give (and receive) during the holiday season. But this time of year can be a great stress to some people.
What should I buy? Did I buy enough? Did I buy the right thing? Can I afford everything? HOW MUCH DID I JUST SPEND?!
Yep. It adds up fast. Those little $10-$20 gifts can quickly become hundreds of dollars out of your bank account. If you don’t attack holiday shopping with a plan, it’s easy to watch money fly away. And honestly, Christmas isn’t about what you buy or how much you spend. It’s not about buying the biggest and best gifts or having thousands of gifts under the tree. It’s about time together to celebrate the holiday.
The strategy my husband and I created has relieved so much stress around finances during the holidays for us. And as an added bonus, I don’t have to worry about the credit card bill coming in January because I know what to expect.
1. Sit down together and come up with a total amount that you are comfortable spending for the holidays.
2. Work with other family members to come up with spending limits for gifts, and create a white elephant gift exchange for the adults to minimize spending.
3. Make sure the final budget number includes decorations, trees, hostess presents, teacher gifts, angel tree/donations, meals, and gifts for family and friends.
4. Divide the allotted amount accordingly.
5. STICK TO THE BUDGET. Yes, that’s in all caps because it’s the most important and most difficult of all the steps. It takes self discipline to stick to any budget, but a holiday budget? So easy to overspend. My suggestion is to throw in a little extra for wiggle room. There is always something that comes up!
Do you have any secrets to cutting the cost or staying on budget for the holidays? Please comment below!