It’s the most wonderful time of the year, isn’t it? We’re knee-deep in fall flavors and looking forward to Christmas already. The stores have been decorating for Christmas for several weeks, and it’s only going to get more real as the radio waves get inundated with all sorts of holiday cheer and songs. So, let’s make sure you’re able to enjoy Christmas, stick to your budget, and enjoy the season. Are you prepared and ready to enjoy Christmas shopping on a budget? I sure am!
How to manage Christmas Shopping on a Budget
Before we can get into enjoying our Christmas shopping, let’s make sure we’re sticking to our budget first. And in order to properly inspire us, let’s go into the how and why.
Why you need to set a holiday budget
My kids are still young – and their Christmas lists are getting longer (and more expensive) every year. And while I would love to give them every trinket and bauble their little heart’s desire, I know I can’t. There’s a couple of reasons for it, actually.
- If you buy all the things, you have to store all the things.
- Buying all the things gets expensive.
So rather than trying to figure out where you’ll stash all of those new toys (and how you’ll pay for them), let’s make a big change this year. Let’s set a budget.
How to set a budget for your Christmas shopping
Wondering how much money you should budget for Christmas? Well, it’s going to depend on a couple of factors. That being said, here’s what we do. We save up all year to pay cash for our Christmas.
Every paycheck, we set aside a few dollars into our Christmas envelope. So while our Christmas envelope looks pretty fantastic right now, give it a week or two – then it’ll look pretty pathetic. It’ll take us a whole year to save up for next Christmas, too.
Doing it this way, though, helps us keep control. I know how tempting it is to have it now and pay for it later. But going into debt is not worth the headache or heartache in the end, I promise.
If you want to have $50 on hand for each family member (and there’s 6 total of you), you’ll need $300. Over 26 paychecks, you’ll need to put aside about $11.50 every two weeks to reach your Christmas goal.
Now, if you’re wondering how much money you “should” be spending on people, remember this: it isn’t about the money. It’s about the memories and being together as a family.
Look for meaningful gifts that fit within your budget
Ready to find that perfect gift for each family member? Remember: it’s not about the money you spend. And it’s not about buying stuff that won’t last the day. Instead, our family’s goal for Christmas shopping on a budget is to make sure we’re getting items that we need, we’ll use, and we can enjoy together.
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For example, last year we bought our kids’ favorite gift ever: a trampoline! I managed to snag it on a huge sale, too. Then, each child got a small toy – and it was a simple, beautiful Christmas. The kids were so excited – and they still use the trampoline most every chance they get!
In other words, get creative. Here are some ideas we’ve tossed around for our family for this year:
- A local zoo or aquarium membership for the family.
- Giving our kids a regular subscription box, like this awesome-looking STEM club subscription!
- Helping our kids make or buy coupon books to give the gift of service year-long.
- The kids have each asked for a new pair of slippers. They alternate between asking for these very sensible slippers and some fun, crazy monster slippers.
Once we decide, then it’ll be sale-shopping time. That way, we can enjoy a great Christmas as a family while keeping to our budget.
Enjoy Christmas – and knowing that it’s paid for!
Look, debt isn’t fun. And having to go into debt for Christmas does spoil some of the magic. So instead, this year make sure that you’re setting and sticking to your budget. And you can do that while still buying meaningful gifts.
It may mean you have to get more creative this year so that next year can be truly spectacular. But guess what? That’s totally fine. When we first started budgeting for our Christmas gifts each year, we started small. Because we wanted to be able to enjoy the festivities without wondering how much extra it was going to cost in interest.
It helps us – and I know it’ll help you enjoy the holiday more, too. So go enjoy Christmas shopping on a budget.
- Preparedness: How to Be Ready for Anything
- 4 Easy, Kid-Friendly Relaxation Techniques to Stop Stressing Now
- How to Set Up Your Christmas Budget – Dave Ramsey
- How to Christmas Shop on a Tight Budget – Simple Living Mommy
- How to Budget for Christmas – Family Money Plan
- Christmas Shopping On A Budget – 9 Easy Tips