Budgeting For Christmas: How To Spend Money Wisely This Time Of Year

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The holidays are here, and that means the stores will be loaded with gifts to buy.  With so many items and so many people on your Christmas list, it can be easy to spend more money than you can afford.  Budgeting for Christmas can be very difficult.  That is why I am here to help.  Today, let's take a look at some tips for budgeting this Christmas.  You'll be glad you did when you find that you still have money after the holidays.

Start Thinking Of Gifts Now

It can be easy to buy gifts at the last minute, but you'll want to start thinking of them now. If you have a particular gift in mind, you can be on the lookout for stores that sell it at a cheap price.  But if you go to the store with no particular gifts in mind, there is a good chance you'll end up buying something that would be cheaper at a different store.

Rearrange Your Budget

This is the time of year when you'll need as much money as you can get.  Because of this, you may need to not spend as much money as you usually do.  For example, if you normally eat out every week, consider cooking meals at your house this season.  Or if you buy coffee at coffee shops, try making your own coffee at home.  This will save you a lot of money.  Remember that this won't last forever.  As soon as Christmas shopping is done, you can go back to your regular schedule.  However, you may find that you like your new budget.  You will definitely be saving a lot of money.

Make Homemade Gifts

Homemade gifts can be just as nice as store-bought gifts, if not better.  Even if you don't think of yourself as someone who likes to craft, there are so many homemade gifts you can make.  They can be as simple as a box of homemade cookies.  Or you could make handmade soap or washcloths.  There are so many handmade Christmas gift ideas.  Click here to get some unique homemade gift ideas that family and friends will love.

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Create A Budget

Christmas shopping on a budget can be difficult.  However, when you plan ahead for who you are buying gifts for, budgeting for Christmas should be fairly easy.  Here's how to do it.

Decide How Much Money You Can Spend

Start by considering how much money you can spend.  Write down your income and find out how much money you need each month for bills, groceries, and other expenses.  This is the first step to planning a budget.  If you have a spouse, ask him for his advice.  One of the number one reason for conflicts in marriages is because of financial differences.  Make sure you and your spouse are on the same page before you start making a Christmas budget.

Make a Budget

Once you figured out how much money you make and spend on expenses, it is time to make a budget.  Like I already mentioned, make sure you involve your spouse in the budget planning.  The average Christmas budget is about $800.  While this is the average Christmas budget, make sure you make a budget that fits your needs.  If you can only afford to spend $400 on Christmas shopping, that is completely fine.  Only spend as much money as you can afford.

Start Making a List Of People You'll Buy Gifts For

The next step to planning a Christmas budget is to decide who you'll buy Christmas gifts for.  Your spouse, kids, parents, grandparents, in-laws, and other close family members are all people of whom you may want to buy Christmas presents for.  You may also want to buy Christmas gifts for friends and people you interact with on a daily basis.

Decide How Much Money You'll Spend On Each Person

Once you have decided who you will purchase Christmas gifts for, it is time to decide how much money you'll spend on each person.  For example, perhaps you want to spend $150 on your spouse, $100 on your kids, $50 on your parents, and so on.  Because you will be shopping for Christmas gifts on a budget, you'll want to buy more useful gifts instead of unimportant items.  So instead of buying your spouse Christmas costumes that he probably will never wear, consider buying him one nice pair of boots or something similar to this.

Start Planning Your Shopping List

Now comes the fun part:  start planning what you'll buy people.  This can be tricky at first because you can only spend so much money on each person.  That is why you should choose Christmas presents wisely.  Only buy items people will really use.  If you want to save even more money, consider buying one item that multiple people can use.  For example, a board game can be a present for all your kids.  And for your parents and grandparents, send a framed photo of your family.

Only Pay With Cash

One of the most common reasons why people are in debt after Christmas is because they pay with credit/debit cards instead of cash.  If you only pay with cash, you will be forced to stick to a budget.  You won't have to worry about being in debt.  Leave your credit cards in your car and only shop with cash.

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Only Buy Gifts For Others, Not Yourself

While you're walking down the store aisles, it can be tempting to buy something for yourself.  But if you are wanting to have enough money for Christmas shopping, you'll want to stay away from shopping for yourself.  If you do buy anything for yourself, have it be part of your budget plan.

Shop On Black Friday and Cyber Monday To Buy Affordable Christmas Gifts

Black Friday and Cyber Monday are the best days to shop for affordable Christmas gifts because there are so many great deals.  Also, consider shopping at discount stores such as dollar stores or Costco.  If you shop for discounted items, you may be able to buy more presents than you could when the items had their original prices.

Don't Forget To Shop Online

There are so many sites online that have inexpensive items.  Amazon and eBay are just two sites that sell affordable items.  There is a number of other sites that sell cheap items that make great Christmas gifts.  Make sure you check a couple different sites before you purchase something.  One site may sell things cheaper than the other site.

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Start Saving For Christmas Shopping In January

While it may be a little late now for saving money for Christmas shopping, this should be done each and every year.  Starting in January, put a little money into savings for Christmas shopping.  Continue doing this until it is December.  Once December arrives, you should have enough money to go Christmas shopping.

When Christmas Is Over, Start Shopping At Sales

Once Christmas is over, there will be a lot of Christmas gifts on sale.  Plan ahead for next year by shopping at these sales.  You don't have to do all your Christmas shopping right after Christmas.  You can just buy a few items.  Make sure you have a budget plan when you shop after Christmas.

Final Thoughts On Budgeting For Christmas

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Budgeting for Christmas isn't as difficult as you think.  You'll need to start by figuring out how much money you need for expenses and how much income you make.  Once you have figured out how much money you can spend on Christmas shopping, make a list of who you want to shop for.  Consider how much money you can spend on each person on your Christmas shopping list.  If possible, consider buying one present that can be used for multiple people.  For example, a playset or a board game can be played by all of your kids, which means you may not need to buy a present for each kid.

Sticking to a Christmas budget can be just as difficult as making one, if not more difficult. To help you stick to your budget, I went over some shopping tips for buying Christmas gifts on a budget.  One tip is to only buy Christmas gifts with cash.  Purchasing Christmas gifts with a credit card will only result in debt.  Secondly, try shopping on Black Friday and Cyber Monday, which are days when Christmas gifts are on sale.  If you find yourself on a tight budget, consider making your own homemade gifts.  Homemade gifts can include cookies, wreaths, ornaments, and aprons.

Don't forget to start planning for next year's Christmas shopping.  As soon as Christmas is over, check out the sales at stores.  Also, start saving money for Christmas shopping next year.  So, there you have it.  I hope this guide on budgeting for Christmas has helped you understand more about making and sticking to a holiday budget.  You will be glad you spent the time making a budget when you find yourself debt-free after Christmas.  Happy shopping!

Related Article:  How To Create And Stick To A Christmas Budget

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