Don’t Bust your Budget this Christmas
Although Christmas gift giving has been the norm for many years, this activity can drain your finances far quicker than you realize – especially when family and friends have come to expect certain standards in this regard.
If you’d still like to ensure that your family and friends get to enjoy this time of year as much as possible without having to worry about how long it will take you to pay off those gifts, the tips below will help you get started.
Set your Budget
Festive season spending can go overboard very quickly if you fail to formulate your shopping list according to your budget. Before committing to purchasing any gifts, food, decorations or other Christmas supplies, determine the amount that you’ll genuinely be able to afford to spend on these items. Once you’ve done this, you can sit down and start making a list of gifts and other supplies that need to be purchased.
Track your Spending
Many individuals spend wildly throughout December, thinking that they’ll be able to deal with the aftermath in January. However, your finances will be far better off if you track your expenses as you make purchases because it will prevent you from overspending or having to put Christmas gift purchases on your credit card.
Prioritize Gift Giving
Although you may be used to purchasing gifts for several family members and friends, you may need to prioritize whom to buy for if you intend sticking to a budget. Consider focusing on the people you spend the most physical time with – don’t feel obligated to purchase costly gifts for relatives you seldom see. Chances are that they may also be feeling the financial pinch and will be relieved to not have to reciprocate.
These days, consumers are beyond spoiled for choice when it comes to doing Christmas shopping in-store and online. As such, taking a little extra time to shop around instead of grabbing the first offer you come across could enable you to save a lot of money on gifts.
Many stores offer discount codes when spending over a specified amount or if you’re purchasing specific items. Before clicking on that ‘place order’ button, be sure to spend a few minutes searching online and on the store’s website to see if you can shave a few dollars off your order cost.
Ditch the Random Gift Exchanges
When questioned, most individuals state that they absolutely dread having to take part in any form of random gift exchanges, such as those that are often hosted at workplaces or social clubs that they may belong to – Christmas tends to be costly enough without having to deal with the added stress of purchasing a gift for someone you hardly know as well. If asked to participate, simply mention that your budget has been allocated elsewhere for this year.
The saying of, “It’s the thought that counts,” certainly applies to gift giving this time of the year. If you simply cannot afford to purchase multiple gifts, most family members and genuine friends will still appreciate the time that you’ll be able to spend with them during the Christmas season.