Christmas is right around the corner. Have you started considering gifts you will purchase for others? While it’s important to realize Christmas is not always about gifts and money, it is an opportunity to be generous.
In my family, Christmas is a time where we can relax and spend quality time together, celebrate the meaning of the holiday, eat good food and exchange gifts. Since I make it a habit not to spend much money on miscellaneous items during the year, I tend to stock up on things we want during the holidays.
If you're normally frugal like I am, Christmas is a great time to spend a little more than is ordinary. You're not wrecking your finances, you're just splurging a little once a year. Here are a few key benefits to establishing a budget for gift spending.
It Helps To Organize and Brainstorm Gift Ideas
If you are going to make a list of everyone you are planning on getting a gift for, you might as well take the extra step to brainstorm some gift ideas within a budget. Organizing your Christmas shopping list and creating a budget helps ensure you don’t miss anyone. Furthermore, the gifts you purchase are well thought out. Getting organized ahead of time allows you to consider what the person really wants or needs and compare it with how much you have allotted yourself to spend. Which brings me to the next benefit of establishing your budget...
You Can Set a Limit to How Much You Should Spend
Holiday ads and sales can be more than tempting. If you don’t set a budget, you could easily overspend. Or worse, you could pull out your credit card to purchase gifts you can’t afford.
Christmas budgets help you keep your spending controlled. No one likes to feel flat out broke after the holidays. If you budget properly, you probably won’t feel such a financial strain in January. People normally put on weight in December. Don't make it harder on yourself by adding debt as well.
It Allows You to Challenge Yourself to be Creative
Since budgets tend to limit how much you can spend (for your own good), a Christmas budget will prompt you to get more creative with gifts and establish new holiday traditions that are not so costly and help you maintain your budget.
If your budget is tight, you can try your hand at making gifts, baking treats or funding a new experience to enjoy with loved ones. Homemade gift baskets are always enjoyed by many and they’re super easy and affordable to make. Plus, they allow you to get creative and add your own personal touch. Expensive and generic store-bought gift baskets are much less thoughtful.
Tips on Managing Your Christmas Gift Budget
- Use a separate checking or savings account for Christmas spending
- Take advantage of holiday sales and doorbuster deals
- If you have a big family or a long list of people to purchase gifts for, suggest doing a secret Santa.
Do you have a Christmas gift budget? How is it helping you stay on track financially during the holidays?