Keeping Your Budget in Check During the Holidays

The Christmas holidays can really add up to some major spending charges when January comes, if we aren’t careful. With some people going on extended family trips, flying across the country, or simply buying gifts for a large family, the spending can really add up. What do you do to keep this spending under wraps and within your limits?

Start with a holiday budget: How much can you spend? Who do you need to buy for? What will you spend for each person? Now, list what they want and itemize the price by the name. Total it up, and you have a holiday budget!

Make a Christmas buying list and stick to it, and it will lower your holiday stress and keep the credit card bills away!

Here are a few more ideas to help you stretch your Christmas budget…

  1. Draw names with family members so that each person gets 1 name each. With everyone splitting up the name, it also splits the expense. That helps save you time and money!
  2. Give a homemade gift: Maybe you can’t sew a quit in a day, but you could bake cookies, make a keepsake gift, or other homemade gift ideas. If you are good at woodworking, sewing, baking, calligraphy, etc. use those skills to make a personal gift for a loved one.
  3. Prioritize what is most important: When a child give us a list that is a whole page long of Christmas presents, you should have them put a star by their most favorite. Ask them to mark their favorites a week later, because things can change in the moment and as the week goes by. You aren’t expected to buy everything!
  4. Buying Gift Certificates: When a gift is expensive and over budget, you can give a gift certificate or gift card to that store. It is still nice to be able to pick out what you want and go shopping later. It gives them something to look forward to: After Christmas sales!
  5. Giving to the Poor: As adults, we could participate in a “joint gift venture” for a family that is less- fortunate. If everyone puts their money into the same pot, or they all bring a gift to give to some other family, everyone will feel good about it, and no one will feel like they didn’t get their share.

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