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One Trillion Dollars.
That is how much is spent during the Christmas holiday season.
Given the credit card debt in our society, I am going to assume much of the Christmas presents will be charged and that debt will be attempted to pay for at a later time. That is the sad truth. And an assumption (which I would love to be wrong on).
Don't feel guilty if that has been you.
Stuff happens, but now, you are ready to rock your Christmas budget.
The pressure for the perfect Christmas is ever present and increasing. Look at a Facebook feed, Instagram post, or Pinterest Pin. All beautiful, picture perfect Christmas surrounds everyone of them.
It is the trap of comparison. Money cannot buy happiness.
Plus most Christmas budgets might surprise you. More than likely, it is because it wasn't a Christmas budget it was pure spending. Specifically overspending when you thought you were done buying gifts and all the little extras.
A debt free Christmas is possible and within your reach!
This is your year to learn how to stay on budget during the holidays!
Every family is unique. Each person is unique.
Therefore, buck the comparison trend and create a Christmas season fit for you.
Start with a Christmas budget that works right now. A number that you can afford now. Not a number you want to spend.
That includes using your resources – both financial and creative to make the holiday season memorable.
Time to Rock Your Christmas Budget
1. Decide Spending Money
And the next word is crucial…in advance.
Sit down and discuss the amount of money to be spent at Christmas. Be honest.
Don’t fall into the trap of ‘Tis the Season of Debt.
Decide how much you are able and willing to spend.
Do you know the average amount people spend at Christmas? Is your Christmas budget higher or lower than the average amount? Figure out if you can spend the average Christmas budget.
For those in a joint household – make sure both parties agree to the same amount and how it will divided among you to spend.
Hint: Stick to the Christmas budget amount you decided. It is too easy to be derailed.
Download the Christmas Budget Tracker and Gift Planner now.
2. Make a List (before you start shopping)
Grab a pen and some paper. Start making a list of everyone you want to buy a gift for.
Remember to include these following items:
- last minute gifts
- stocking stuffers
- teacher’s gifts
- craft projects
Also, don’t forget to include the extra food and groceries for any fun gatherings planned.
To make it easier, you can grab our free printables to help you create it!
Hint: Keep your list somewhere where you can easily access it.
3. Prioritize your Spending
This may seem like pick your favorite.
However, think about it as where do you want to see your treasures (money and time) spent.
Now, that you have decided your Christmas budget and made your list. Allocate the amount you decided to spent to each person or activity on your list.
It is okay to prioritize gifts for your kids, husband, and immediate family first.
Hint: This is key to staying within your Christmas budget. Maybe even under!
4. Use Cash
Planning most of your shopping online, then grab a Prepaid Gift Card. You can pick up gift cards to your favoriate stores. Also, if you want to shop anywhere then grab a Visa or Mastercard Prepaid Card. There is a small activation fee; however, it will be way less than overspending. Guaranteed.
Want to use your credit card?
Be wise with your spending. It is very simple and easy to charge more than you can afford. Those credit limits are crazy high. If you plan to use a credit card this holiday season, track your purchases on a ledger – like this.
Budget Tracker Apps:
Resource to Help You: Best Cash Envelope Wallets that Won’t Fall Apart
5. Ignore Sales
The temptation to buy, buy, buy. There is a sale, sale, sale.
Stick to your list.
Not on your list, then pass.
This one is hard to actually do. But, it is probably the most important tip to rock your Christmas budget.
There are so many awesome deal sites today. However, everything that is bought brings MORE STUFF in our households. Just because it is cheap…do you actually need it?
Fun Tip: For fun, add up all of the items you wanted to buy, but passed on. Use the Spending Wish List in the free printables section.
Download the Christmas Budget Tracker and Gift Planner now.
6. No Emotional Spending
Be wary of spending based on emotions. Emotions rule our decisions. Period.
How many times have you stood in the store and justified your purchase with, “This would be the perfect gift for Christmas.” or “Don't worry we can figure out a way to pay for it.” or “The sale ends today.” or “This won't be available next Christmas.”
The list can on and on forever.
Our emotions drive our money purchases.
Hint: Stick to your list that you already created. That takes out the emotional tugs on your heart and you can stick to your Christmas budget.
7. Stop Impulse Buying
According to a recent CreditCards.com survey, 5 in 6 Americans have made impulse purchases in the past three months.
Most of the impulse shopping is done in person at the stores, and those impulse buys are for ourselves or a child. From the same survey, 36% of the impulse purchases was for an amount under $50.
Just a little bit of money here. A little bit over here.
Over time, those impulse purchases add up to a much larger amount.
Hint: Abandon your cart. Why do you think quick sales are so BIG around Christmas time. It is all about getting the consumer to spend, spend, spend. It is okay to say no. Your long-term financial freedom will thank you.
8. Stop Buying
Plain and simple.
Stop spending money for Christmas presents once you have fulfilled your list.
Especially stop spending money once you have spent all of your Christmas budget. Period.
Hint: Read the last two sentences again.
Bonus Tip for Your Christmas Budget:
Use a Christmas tracker to write down everything you spent. You can download our FREE printable in our resource library.
Enjoy your Christmas holiday season today and don’t worry about how to pay for it tomorrow. Simple tips to help you stay on budget at Christmas.
From the tips above, which one do you struggle with the most?
More Christmas Money Saving Tips:
- How to Spend ZERO at Christmas in a Materialistic Society
- Five Expert Ways to Save Money on Black Friday
- Savvy Ways to Spend Less at Christmas & Give Real Presents
- Christmas Budget Challenge for a Debt Free Christmas
- Christmas Dinner Traditions Roundup & Way to Save Money
- Unique Gift Ideas: Gift Giving That is More than Toys