Christmas is here – the most wonderful yet expensive season of the year. Exclusive discounts here, great deals there and captivating ads everywhere! It’s quite tempting to shop! Even if our income increased from the 13th-month pay and bonus we receive, it is still important to make and (and really stick) to a holiday budget.
Doing so could not only lessen your stress and keep you from overspending but also will help you to think carefully about the things you are about to purchase. Plus, there’s nothing better than spending your Christmas knowing you save a lot of money.
Below are the ways on how to make a budget and how you can stick to it!
START MAKING A HOLIDAY BUDGET
It’s hard to stick to a budget when you don’t have one, so the first step you should do is to “Make a Holiday Budget.” Before going shopping, make sure you are prepared and have listed down the things you need. This includes groceries, decorations, gifts, wrapping paper, etc. Once done, double-check it to see that everything you need is listed.
Making a list can help you prevent going over your limit and avoid making impulsive purchases. It’s easy to get carried away by the offers, especially if it is on sale, but even how tempting the offers are — always remember to just stick to it!
SET A SPENDING LIMIT FOR EACH CATEGORY
Say that you have already made a list, the next thing you will do is decide how much money you will allocate for each category. You can do it by dividing first the money you set for Christmas, then decide how many percent from your budget is for this category. Knowing your limit for groceries, gifts, etc. will help you determine if you are spending too much on this or that and most importantly, it will help you decide what items you should buy.
LIST YOUR PRESENT LISTS – BUT SET BOUNDARIES
The essence of Christmas may be sharing and giving but it doesn’t mean you need to buy gifts for every person you know. When planning for Christmas gifts, you should only opt to buy gifts for the person that only matters to you — and it doesn’t need to be expensive either. In fact, you can create a DIY gift that’s more meaningful! You must look at the internet for ideas or guides on how to make one.
Some of us focus on the material things we may give or receive that often forget the true meaning of Christmas, which is spending time with the family.
TRACK YOUR SPENDING
In order to stick with your Holiday budget, it’s also important to track your spending. To do this, you should always bring your list, along with the budget sheet, ALWAYS whenever you are going shopping. This will give you an idea of how much money is left for this category and will make it easier for you to adjust if needed. Remember that tracking your spending is not necessary but the key to sticking to your budget.
So, you are done shopping and luckily, have a little money left in your budget. If this is the case, it doesn’t mean you will buy something you don’t need. Instead of spending the remaining money, just enjoy the fact that you didn’t overspend and don’t have any Christmas debt!
Effective tips when buying a Christmas Gift
- Always pay in cash! May it be small or big purchases, don’t use your credit card as this could only lead to overspending.
- Take advantage of online shopping sales. This can not only save your money but also your time as you don’t need to leave your home. But if you do, make sure you only buy the things that are on your list.
- Shop by yourself. You’ll be like to spend more if you are with friends with poor money habits. They can only convince you to buy some things unplanned.
- Find discount codes. Many retailers offer a discount by using their promo code. You may find discount codes by doing quick research or following them on social media.
- Limit your shopping destinations. Just go to the malls you need to go to avoid getting preoccupied and to save money on transportation.
Marketers are so great with what they are doing that it makes you want to break your bank account. But don’t fall into the trap! You can still enjoy Christmas, give gifts and eat delicious meals without having to spend too much. Making a budget doesn’t mean limiting the fun – it only means that you are being responsible for your financial and want to face the season being stress-free!