As we approach the holiday season, it’s easy to overspend and sacrifice your savings plan. It’s a wonderful time of the year, centered around the anticipation and celebration of the birth of Jesus, appreciating the people you love, and giving to charity. While it’s nice to be able to give back, it can come at quite a cost.
However, being fiscally responsible doesn’t mean you can’t give generously. Giving shouldn’t stop at monetary gifts. It also includes giving your time and services. Keep reading for some tips on how to budget for Christmas gifts without sacrificing your savings goals this season.
Save All Year
When saving money, the adage “measure twice, cut once” definitely applies. If you plan ahead, you can have money set aside specifically for the holiday season. Plan a deadline for when you want to have your desired holiday savings achieved.
Don’t forget to include additional Christmas needs, such as party supplies, fresh-cut Christmas trees, and other Christmas expenses. If you wait until the last minute, you’re more likely to spend impulsively, leading to unnecessary spending. Don’t risk going into debt at the end of the year! The more time you have to save, the more you can save.
Plan Your Budget for Christmas Gifts
Before you think about who you want to gift or how much, you must establish a budget for Christmas gift-giving. It’s easy to feel fiscally responsible for assigning a holiday spending limit to your budget, but this shouldn’t be your only consideration.
There are many other priorities to consider when you think through your yearly financial plan. Make sure your Christmas gift budget doesn’t interfere with your necessary monthly expenses or investment goals.
Set a Budget for Each Person
Once you’ve determined your total Christmas budget, you can set a budget for each person’s Christmas gift. Remember, this doesn’t have to be an exact figure. Instead, you can use a loose budget, such as “around $50.” Ultimately, Christmas isn’t about the money, but the love and thought behind each gift.
Think of creative ways to show your loved ones that you care. For example, if you have a family member who loves gardening, why not give them a gift voucher for their local gardening store? Or, if you have a friend who loves to travel, you could buy them a nice passport holder or film camera to take with them on their journeys.
Know What You Want to Buy
Ask everyone to send their wishlist. For example, Amazon has a wishlist feature. Letting people provide you with a list of what they want makes gift-giving easy. Be sure to give them a timeline and budget for their Christmas gifts.
Or, if you want to surprise your loved ones, jot down ideas throughout the year. For example, write down when someone expresses an interest in a hobby or particular item. Then, if it’s within the budget allotted for that person’s Christmas present, surprise them with a thoughtful gift. Planning for each loved ones’ gift ahead of time allows you to budget properly without risking overspending on last-minute gifts.
Don’t Forget about Your Current Savings Goals
While it’s important to budget for Christmas gifts, it’s also vital that you don’t forget about your current savings goals. It can be tempting to use the money for extravagant gifts, but it’s equally important not to neglect your financial plan. After all, one of the main benefits of saving is that it gives you more options and opportunities in the future.
Shop Smart this Holiday Season
Many people stress about finding the money to buy everyone something special for Christmas. Don’t let this ruin your Christmas. Follow these tips, and you’ll be well on your way to budgeting your Christmas gifts without abandoning your financial goals.