With the holidays hurtling towards us, this is a season that encourages everyone to spend spend spend. Christmas can be hard-hitting for your wallet, and as with any financial change, it can help to have a budgeting plan in place. For those who tend to break a cold sweat when it comes to stacking up the gift buying list, this can be a very challenging time of year. By mapping out a budgeting plan and taking a good honest look at your seasonal spending habits, it may help alleviate some of that anxiety, leaving you to simply enjoy the charm of Christmas without the guilt.
Don’t Bury Your Head
When it comes to budgeting – the golden rule is not to bury your head. You need to know exactly how much is in your bank account, how much will be going out towards bills and other living expenses, and exactly how much room you have to play with. Avoiding bank balance realities can only land you in hot water, so pull up your details, sit down with a calculator and start crunching those numbers.
Make a List, Check it Twice
Hitting the stores without a list and with a credit card is risky business all round. Before you even step foot out the door make sure you have a list of gifts you are planning to buy and stick to it. Putting in the creative thought process before going shopping means that you are much more likely to buy a gift that someone wants and that you are more likely to stick to your budget. Try and make sure that you take cash and you leave your card behind as this reduces the risk of springing for those on the spot spontaneous purchases that are sure to lead to buyer remorse later.
Another method for making sure you stick to a budget is by shopping online for gifts. Spending an eve surfing the web means you are more likely to find what you want for less as its easier to compare prices. There’s also the added bonus that if you shop online you don’t have to handle the seasonal stress of frantic stores and you are less likely to go in for those grab and dash pricey purchases.
Make Present Cuts
It may be controversial but in an era where we are forever aiming to do more and to stretch ourselves thin, perhaps its time to opt-out. Scrutinize your gift list and question whether you really need to buy a gift for every single person who works in your office. Maybe you can trim down the list or opt for a no-gift policy agreement with certain people. You can also suggest things like Secret Santa so you only have one gift to be responsible for and agree to put a cap on spends such as only spending $10 a gift.
DIY gifts are a glorious option when it comes to solving your Christmas budget crisis. Homemade gifts truly capture the spirit of seasonal comfort and joy and save a pretty penny at the same time. From DIY ornaments to crocheted delights, sweet baked treats, and homebrewed wines and damson gins, there are endless ideas across the World Wide Web for designing happy homemade treats. Present them pretty and people in your life are sure to be blown away with seasonal sentimentality.
Space Out Seasonal Gifts
It’s easy to get caught up in the gold rush of a consumerist heavy Christmas. Another option for making the holidays more affordable is to give experiences instead of gifts. Rather than buying a bunch of stuff, you can let your significant other, your friends and your family know that you plan to give experiences. From making a dinner date in January to taking your nephew to the cinema or trampoline park. Not only does this method bring magical memories, but it also means you can space out the costs of giving for a couple of months rather than taking one big hit.
How will you be budgeting better this Christmas? Share ideas with us in the comments.