How To Budget For The Holidays
Christmas is around the corner, and I am sure you’ve had your fair share of shopping with a few more last minute items to purchase. You probably said to yourself, “I am going to do better this year, I am NOT going to overspend, and I am going to plan efficiently.” Well did you?
Some people really have a hard time shopping for Christmas which causes them to overspend or miss out on great deals! Just because Christmas is a consumer holiday DOESN’T mean you have to go broke! Spend with sense. Create a budget and STICK TO IT!
When you’re a parent, especially to multiples, you tend to try to make Christmas “fair.” If one child gets ten presents the other should as well and so on.
Not in this household!
I give each of my kids' equal spending numbers, not quantity. Let’s say $500 for each child. Your quantity depends on what you put on your list.
Ex. If my six-year-old wants a $60 pair of shoes, you have $440 left.
Ex. If my four-year-old wants a $30 pair of shoes, you have $470 left.
My boyfriend, mom, siblings, nieces/nephews all have a budget as well.
At the end of the day, EVERYONE HAS A BUDGET.
Their budget, along with my boys, depend on my financial year some years I can give more, some I have to give a little less. However, every year is a giving year.
METHOD OF PAYMENT
PAY CASH. I divide everyone’s Christmas cash into separate envelopes. I like to be able to keep track of spending and receipts. My receipts have a separate folder in case I need to return an item and to keep track of the expenditure.
Paying with cash is a smart way to not rack up on credit card debt! Cash is ALWAYS the way to go. My motto is if I can’t afford it with cash, then I damn sure shouldn’t swipe my credit card.
TRY NOT TO OVERTHINK
Christmas doesn’t have to be super expensive or extravagant. Thoughtful presents can be as cheap as $10. Think about what your loved ones need, or their interest. For example, my boyfriend LOVES socks. I can buy him a good pair of sock for $5 (or less), and he will love the gift.
In today’s society, Christmas is centered around receiving extravagant presents to show your social media how much you’re “loved”. It’s about making yourself “go broke” to please your family/friends. I am trying to shape and change the consumerism of Christmas. Yes, some years I may spend a few large bucks on an item. However, it’s because I REALLY wanted to purchase that item for them. Not because I am nervous they will think I love them less because I didn’t spent a lot of money.
Christmas doesn’t have to be super expensive. Catch deals. Budget. Shop Smart.
HOW TO CONQUER CHRISTMAS THE FOLLOWING YEAR.
Sit down and give a budget to everyone you plan to buy gifts. Once you have your list complete take that number and divide it by 11, that is how much money you will need to save by the First of December.
By saving this money, you can catch deals ALL YEAR and possibly spend less than what you initially intended to pay. Department stores tend to have great deals during non-holiday seasons or other holiday sales. You may even be able to find a lot of your gift via the clearance rack.
It’s about shopping smarter not harder.
I hope I helped you prepare better for your next Christmas season. If you have other ways you like to save during the holidays, please share below.