Happy Tuesday! It’s been a crazy month already. All my gifts are bought and wrapped and making their way under the tree. I’ve been SUPER proactive this year in getting everything ordered way ahead of time. That has both been a blessing and a curse. I just recently thought I misplaced almost TEN Christmas gifts and was 100% panicked. Some of the items were limited edition and no longer available. SOS. Luckily – they had been strangely tucked away in a box out of sight to keep them all together (ironically). Thank heavens they were found but that is the danger with buying your presents so far in advance. LOL. Anyways – speaking of buying a zillion presents, here is how to survive the holidays without going broke. Let’s diving into it.
Whether it’s just you and your S.O. or your whole family, you need a budget. Overall and per person. My husband and I each had a set amount we were allowed to spend on each other, and then decided together how much to spend on our gifts to our parents and siblings. That way we didn’t spend way more than anticipated.
AKA do not do what I did and buy everything all in one weekend. Start at the beginning of November and buy a couple gifts every week until the the week before Christmas. That way you can be buying and wrapping as you go, but you don’t spend $1500 in one weekend. Give your bank account a chance to recover in between large purchases.
This is the first year I’ve done the majority of my shopping on Black Friday. I cannot recommend this method enough – at least for the big gifts. I saved several hundred dollars doing it this way – which meant I was able to get more little gifts without going over my budget. It was the perfect way to make sure I got the best bang for my buck. I will absolutely be taking advantage of these sales next year, too.
This is a separate savings account that is only for Christmas money. Put awake $30 a week from January-November, you could save an extra $1440 for Christmas alone! That enough to have a great little savings to make your year extra special. Even if you can only do it for half the year, you still have a good couple hundred dollars saved for decorations or gifts. Some banks have specific accounts of this that “lock” until the first week of December so you can’t access the money and use it before it’s time.
Holiday parties, Christmas dinner, holiday activities (light shows, ice skating, Santa Claus pictures, Christmas cards, etc.) all cost extra money this month. Make sure you aren’t spending all the way up to your limit so that you can enjoy the holiday activities that are special only to this time of year.
Ok but for real. Just because someone gets you a gift you weren’t expecting, doesn’t mean you have to run out and buy them something else. Know exactly who you’re getting gifts for this year and leave it at that. Have a couple holiday themed cards and bags of red and green candy on hand for emergency gifts but other than that, don’t spread yourself too thin.
Instead of buying everyone, their spouse and their myriad of children separate gifts, consider doing a family gift exchange where everyone pulls someone else out of the hat! That way you are only in charge of getting one family presents but everyone still gets a gift for Christmas. It’s perfect for people with several siblings, nieces and nephews and parents, grandparents. You can spend time picking out unique gifts and it enables you to spend a little more on them than you would if you were buying 14 other gifts.
This is the most important one. What good is a budget if you don’t actually follow it? As easy as it is to continually pick up little things during the month, each $10 item adds up fast. Before you know it, you may be $150 over your spending limit. Take your Christmas budget out in cash, and then don’t spend anything more once the cash is gone. That’s the easiest way for me to stay on budget. Leave your cards at home!
PIN THIS FOR LATER:
You don’t have to spend an exorbitant about of money during the holidays. Just make sure whatever you do spend, you have budgeted out and ready to go. Christmas is my favorite time of year – especially because my love language is gifts. LOL. Giving AND receiving. NOTHING gives me more joy than spending time picking out the most PERFECT PRESENT for each person on my list.
If you need help choosing gifts for your favorite humans this year, make sure you stop by my holiday gift guide section (see all of them HERE) to pick out something super special.