If you are anything like me.. I can go BONKERS with my spending during the holiday season. There have been many years of spending thousands of dollars on Christmas gifts. Not to mention co-workers, friends etc. Lets face it, giving is GREAT! but you don’t want to put yourself in a financial bind come January because your spending went overboard in the month of December. So here are my top 5 tips for Christmas gift giving on a budget. Here goes…
#1. Determine the amount of money that you can afford to spend. If there is no set budget, then you can blink and end up spending thousands of dollars. Look at your income minus your bills and what is left over determined your Christmas spending budget. You dont want to have your power shut off in your home because you had to buy that big flat screen TV. Ha!
#2. Make a list of who you NEED to buy for. Stick to that list! There is a big difference between who you NEED to buy for versus who you WANT to buy for. Also, determine what gift you will get for that person. Is it really feasible to buy that kitchenaid mixer right now? Is it really duable to spend the money for that Xbox system? Ask yourself these questions and don’t justify the purchase.
#3. Consider making your holiday gifts. I absolutely LOVE this idea! If you are someone who likes to buy all your coworkers gifts, really consider making them. You can literally google homemade Christmas gifts and come up with crafty ideas that are simple and dont break the bank! Things such as ornamenents, wreaths and cookie baskets. These do it yourself gift ideas are a lot of fun too!
#4. Look for coupons and deals before you shop. Every store has some deal and you can always find a coupon to pair it up with. You can really bargain shop and spend less for brand named items. There are so many websites that you can follow that will give you the tips and tricks of being frugal during the holidays and all year round! Some of my favorites are www.jillcataldo.com and www.moneysavingmom.com. If you know what you are looking for, some online deals are better than in store deals and they still let you enter in the coupon code. I know many people that shopped online for all their gifts!
#5. Have FUN! If you have your set budget, who you are buying for and find a great deal for it.. Have fun! I believe it is better to give than to receive. It is possible to give on a budget. Knowing your starting point so it doesn’t get out of hand is the key. Lets make it a December to remember and not a January of catching up. Happy shopping!