Christmas seems to be the one season in which we tend to overspend but with wise planning you can enjoy the holiday and still avoid spending too much money.
From gifts to food, drink, outings, guests, more food, more gifts the amount we spent at Christmas quickly mounts up. Many people i know have realise, from experience, that they are likely to overspend during the festive season, so they have sensibly made plans in advance.
It all boils down to setting a reasonable budget and sticking to it. When you have a Christmas budget, you are less likely to be stressed out after the holidays regarding overspending, or paying off big bills. You won’t find yourself robbing other household budgets to pay for Christmas gifts and your savings will be safe. The benefits are many, so get ready, and make your Christmas budget by following these simple Steps.
Step #1 – Determine how many people you need to purchase gifts for this holiday season.
Step #2 – How much are you willing to spend no gift giving (did you have a Christmas funds account all year? if not don’t fear).
Step #3 – Understanding how much you can comfortably afford to spend on gifts is half the battle of making a Christmas budget.
Step #4 – Finding out how much you can spend if you do not know:
Find out how much is in savings or Christmas fund accounts. Write down all household expenses including bills, utilities, food and gasoline. Make sure that household expenses are set aside and you do not touch this money for gifts. Any funds outside of these household expenses can be used for gift giving.
Step #5 – Consider making at least some of your gifts this year. Especially for grandparents, aunts and uncles who love to receive current photos of the kids, making photo collages and handcrafted items that the kids make, will be big hits that won’t cost much to make.
Step #6 – After knowing how much is in the Christmas Gift budget you can make a list of all the gift giving related items that you need to purchase.
Christmas Gift Budget Categories:
- Gift Wrapping
- Ribbons and Bows
- Gift Tags
Step #7 – Allocate the amount you believe you will need to spend on all categories except Present. The amount left over is what you have to spend on presents.
Step #8 – Deciding what to spend on each present – You can take the total amount of funds available in your budget for presents and divide it by how many people you need to buy presents for an example would be if your budget for presents is £250 and you have 8 people that you need to buy presents for, you would divide £250 by 8 and get £31.25 for each person. You may also decide that there are kids on your list that you would like to spend more money on and adults that you can spend less money on. You may have 3 adults and 5 kids to buy presents for and decide that you can find good gifts for £10 for the adults. You would then have £220 to split between 5 kids which would mean that you could spend £44 on each child. You can buy one gift for £44 or split the £44 into smaller gifts for each child
In conclusion, a Christmas budget will help you to stay within your spending means and this equates to a happier and less stressful after holiday season. Make sure that you remember to take into account that you will be spending more gasoline on shopping trips, going to Christmas parties and family gatherings during the holiday season, so keep this in mind when allocating funds.
If you do attend a lot of holiday parties, you may also want to make a category for host/hostess gifts. If you throw any holiday parties be sure to allot funds for the purchases you need to make for these parties.
Budgets are designed to help you spend without stressing too much, so take advantage of these steps now, so that this year, the holidays will be all about having fun with family and friends and less about stressing out over money.Niyi Adeoshun
Money Management Coach
Author of "The Price of Financial Freedom"
(3 Essential Steps for Breaking the Cycle of Debt)