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8 Simple Tips to Rock Your Christmas Budget in 2023

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 every one of them.

One Trillion Dollars.

That is how much is spent during the Christmas holiday season.1

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. 

It is the trap of comparison. Money cannot buy happiness.

Budgeting for Christmas has become a priority for you.

Plus most Christmas budgets might surprise you. More than likely, it is because it wasn’t a Christmas on a budget it was pure spending. Specifically overspending when you thought you were done buying gifts and all the little extras.

Stick to your Christmas budget so there is no debt hangover. Create a savings plan to buy Christmas gifts. Get awesome budget friendly ideas for kids and families. Plus tips for a festive holiday season! Download your free printable and Christmas planner. Make your list and check it twice.

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Why Being Debt Free at Christmas is Important?

A debt free Christmas is possible and within your reach! An affordable Christmas on a budget!

This is your year to learn how to stay on budget for Christmas gifts, decor, food, and all of the fun!

So, what is a good Christmas budget? And how do people afford Christmas on a tight budget? Let’s dive in and answer those questions!

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.

How to Budget for Christmas

Picture of presents for Average Christmas Budget

Trying to have Christmas on a budget for the first time will probably feel very constricting. You are changing the way you do things and improving your money management. So, stick to your Christmas budget template.

This is exactly how to budget for Christmas gifts.

You need these Christmas saving tips in your life, so you can continue to focus on your money goals.

1. Decide Christmas Spending Money

Decide how much you are able and willing to spend.

Don’t fall into the trap of ‘Tis the Season of Debt.

And the next word is crucial…in advance.

Sit down and discuss the amount of money to be spent at Christmas. Be honest.

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 of $900.2

For those in a joint household – make sure both parties agree to the same amount and how it will be divided among you to spend.

So, what’s a good budget for Christmas? One that you can afford and not regret in January!

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)

This is how you do Christmas shopping on a budget!

Grab a pen and some paper (or get our free Christmas Budget Template). Start making a list of everyone you want to buy a gift for.

Remember to include the 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. Have you ever considered experiences for Christmas gifts?

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 Christmas Spending

christmas on a budget

This may seem like picking your favorite.

However, consider it where you want to see your treasures (money and time) spent.

Now, that you have decided on your Christmas budget and made your list, allocate the amount you decided to spend on 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

Nothing shows running out of money like an empty cash envelope or a declined prepaid Visa card. This is a very simple way to not overspend.

Planning most of your shopping online, then grab a Prepaid Gift Card or even a CashApp card. You can pick up gift cards at your favorite 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 Christmas 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:

5. Ignore Sales

The temptation to buy, buy, buy. There is a sale, sale, sale.

Stick to your list.

If not on your list, then pass.

This one is hard to do. But, it is probably the most important tip to rock your Christmas on a budget.

There are so many awesome deal sites today. However, everything that is bought brings MORE STUFF to our households. Just because it is cheap…do you actually need it?

Fun Tip: For fun, add all 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.

Don’t let finding your Christmas gifts on a budget fall victim to emotional spending. By making this simple change here, you are able to control your money better all year long.

Hint: Stick to the 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

Whereas people are less likely now to impulse purchases than in previous years, it is still an issue for many.3

Most of the impulse shopping is done in person at the stores, and those impulse buys are for ourselves or a child and are mostly 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

Christmas gifts on a budget

Plain and simple.

Stop spending money on Christmas presents once you have fulfilled your list.

Let me repeat… Stop spending money once you have spent all of your Christmas budget. Period.

Hint: Read the last two sentences again.

If you struggling with how to stop spending money, then you need to figure out how to say no to yourself.

Bonus Tip for Your Christmas on a Budget:

If you are wondering, how do people afford Christmas on a tight budget? Typically, they go into debt to afford what they feel they must be. However, you have tips to have an affordable budget that works for your family.

Use a Christmas tracker to write down everything you spent. You can download our FREE printable in our resource library.

This is exactly how you budget for Christmas gifts!

Enjoy your Christmas holiday season today and don’t worry about how to pay for it tomorrow.

Use these simple Christmas saving 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:


  1. USA Today. “With trade war looming, will shoppers spend more this holiday season?” https://www.usatoday.com/story/money/2019/09/17/shoppers-expected-spend-more-than-1-trillion-holiday-season/2311725001/. Accessed November 7, 2023.
  2. Statistica. “Roughly how much money do you think you personally will spend on Christmas gifts this year?” https://www.statista.com/statistics/246963/christmas-spending-in-the-us-during-november/. Accessed November 7, 2023.
  3. PRNewsWire.com. “Americans Are Spending Less on Impulse Purchases in 2023 Than in Prior Years, According to Annual Survey Commissioned by Slickdeals.” https://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/americans-are-spending-less-on-impulse-purchases-in-2023-than-in-prior-years-according-to-annual-survey-commissioned-by-slickdeals-301886019.html#:~:text=The%20average%20person%20is%20only,(58%25%20in%202022). Accessed November 7, 2023.

Know someone else that needs this, too? Then, please share!!

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More importantly, did I answer the questions you have about this topic? Let me know in the comments if I can help in some other way!

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