The holidays are upon us and that means food, family, and festivities, however you plan to do that this year. While we may not be gathering as we normally would, chances are we are still exchanging gifts in some sort of fashion. As exciting as this time of year is, it can bring about stress and anxieties in the way of expenses. This should not be a part of anyone’s holidays, regardless of budget size, because anyone can plan to make sure they don’t over- extend themselves financially when it comes to giving gifts. While it’s fun to shop and give gifts, we also want to make sure we aren’t being frivolous with our hard-earned money.
Budgeting Tips for Holiday Gifts
1. Make a list and check it twice
Make a list of everyone you plan to buy for: Kids, grandparents, teachers, friends. In addition, create a list of what you plan to purchase. Keeping to your list will help you to not overspend. Being intentional about holiday spending is the biggest favor you can do for yourself.
2. Set an ALLOWANCE!
It’s important to have a number in mind or things can spiral out of control quickly. I know I am guilty of already being “done”. This includes our beloved “Dollar Spots”. If you feel you will be compelled to shop them, add them to your list and include the allotted amount of funds you plan to spend so you’re sure you don’t go overboard!
3. Plan, plan, plan!
Do not fall victim to expedited shipping prices! If we follow the first two points, this one should be a breeze. We’ve had all year to plan for this, so if we are this far in and we haven’t gotten what we need, just let it be late! Everyone will understand, and nobody wants you to spend $22 to get something somewhere overnight!
4. Everyone does NOT need a gift!
Do not stretch yourself too thin trying to play Santa to everyone. If we’ve learned anything from the multitudes of holiday movies, it’s that gifts are not the reason for the season. For family that lives far away, a phone call, or a handwritten note along with your Christmas card goes a long way!
5. Online Shop!
The previous point leads me to my final point to do your best not to engage in impulsive shopping. Shop online! Think of it in the same way that online grocery shopping is beneficial to your pocketbook; no adding in unnecessary items to cart in the checkout line, or seeing that “once in a lifetime” sale.