Make a list of every one that you need to purchase a gift for this Christmas season. My list consist of EVERYONE. Even down to the mail lady . Once you get the list made, put them in order of importance. I start with my immediate family then work the list down. You have to do this to get the full picture of what your budget will need to cover. Here is my Christmas Shopping List Template that I use to make my Christmas list and it is also my budget keeper for the season. ** Just a side note… If I am giving a gift, I morally do not send a Christmas card to that person. This is just one way I save a little money. If it is a picture card and I want to share it with everyone, I will include it in the gift and save on the postage.
Make a budget. Even though you have already made your list, don’t let that drive the amount you budget for the holidays. Your amount you set is the amount that will not take away from your normal living expenses. I recommend if you can, work off of cash when purchasing your Christmas if you are not very organized and disciplined. Having cash in hand is a strong visual of what you have to spend and when it is gone, it is gone. Once you have tour budget divided out among the different people to buy for, you can actually put each amount in an envelope and label it for each person.
Tips to remember when setting the budget and making the list.
- You normally spend 10-12% more when you use a credit card than when you use cash.
- If you can’t pay your credit card off when the bill comes in, that “HOT” deal isn’t a hot deal any longer.
- When making the budget , remember entertaining expenses too. This comes under the holiday budget.
- Group couples together on your list to save money.
- Give gifts of service to friends and family. Such as a bright of baby sitting or cleaning the gutters. I did one year 1 dinner a month or 6 months for my newly married Nephew and his wife. I would take a meal to them once a month.
- Look in your “gift closet” before your purchase gifts. You might have already stock piled that perfect gift.