If you are Christmas shopping on a tight budget, the thought of gift-giving might make you panic. Instead of overextending yourself and ending up in debt this holiday season, it makes more sense to stick to a holiday budget you can stick to. But how do you do that? Luckily, Christmas on a budget doesn’t have to be a chore. You can get the gifts you need without going broke, you just need to keep a few simple tips in mind.
Look below at these 7 tips for setting a Christmas budget you can stick to, so you can do your holiday shopping without going in the red!
1. Make a detailed recipient list
One of the very first things you need to do is make a list of everyone you need to buy for. Don’t forget all those little add ons such as teachers, hairdressers, mailmen, etc. This way, you have a clear picture of everyone who needs gifts and you can start budgeting per person.
2. Use the envelope system
Now that you have a list of people to buy for, you can create an envelope system to budget your money. Get a dozen or so envelopes and label them with immediate family, extended family, friends, teachers, secret Santas, and any other categories you may have.
3. Set an amount for each category
Decide how much you wish to spend on each category. For the immediate family, you may have a £100 budget, while for secret Santas you may want to keep it at £10. Decide what is practical and set the amount accordingly. Write the amount on each envelope.
4. Divide up your cash budget
Take the total amount you wish to spend this holiday season and divide it up into the envelopes. For example, if you are spending £500 total, you would take that amount in cash and divide it into the envelopes as you decided.
5. Create a shopping list based on sales
Keep an eye on sales flyers, especially around Black Friday so you can get an idea of what your most frugal gift-giving options are. When you see a good sale, snip the item out and place it in the envelope it corresponds with. You can also write on the envelope who the gift is for so you can keep track.
6. Track your spending
No matter if it is a £1 gift or a £20 gift, write the amount down. Every dollar adds up and adds up quickly. If you take money from an envelope, write down the amount on the given envelope along with the gift recipients name. Once you have reached your allotted amount for that envelope, STOP.
7. Keep a spending reserve for last-minute gifts
Keep one final envelope as a spending reserve. This could be £50 that you set aside for those last-minute gifts you may have forgotten about. It seems as though extra people always show up a few days prior to Christmas so this amount is great to have on hand. If you end up not using it, this is a set amount you can use on Christmas dinner or kick off your savings for the new year!
Are you ready to take control of this holiday season? Consider these 7 tips for setting a Christmas shopping budget you can stick to, and see what a huge difference it can make.