How Do You Budget for Christmas Shopping?
Don’t let holiday bills hound you in the New Year. Exercise smart Christmas shopping. From early holiday shopping deals to paying for a Christmas present in cash, there are many ways to make sure that this year Christmas does not break the bank. Need some help? Try our professional budgeting tips.
Make a Shopping List
This might seem very obvious, but the easiest way to save money this Christmas season is to make a comprehensive shopping list. Write down every gift you have to buy this year, from holiday gifts for friends to gifts for kids and neighbors. Why do you need to write everything down? Simple. When you write down how many gifts you have and compare the list to your Christmas budget, you will avoid overspending. For example, if you have to buy presents for ten nephews and nieces but only have a small budget, you know that you can’t give the latest video game console or a bike to every child. Writing a list also helps you avoid buying duplicate gifts or forgetting someone on Christmas morning.
Set a Practical Spending Limit
You might want to spend a thousand dollars this Christmas, but maybe you can only spend one hundred. Don’t assume you can catch up on your credit cards later, or will somehow be able to absorb large amounts of debt. Be practical. And yes, this might mean that instead of buying the most expensive gifts for your loved ones this year that you have to buy the bargain gifts, but then you can avoid the pain and stress of overspending
Save Money Through Early Shopping
You can save hundreds of dollars by shopping early. Look for incredible shopping deals months in advance. Take advantage of after-holiday sales to stock up on Christmas decorations, holiday gifts, and Christmas-themed clothing. If you know you need to buy a big-ticket item, sign up for online coupons and bargain apps that will keep you on top of the biggest deals. Ask local retailers if they are planning any big sales throughout the year. If you are buying toys for children, buy them in bulk. Many times you can save money by purchasing multiples of the same toy or item.
Pay in Cash
Leave your cards at home and pay in cash. Psychologists have found that it is actually mentally painful for us to physical give away cash. If you are buying online, take out cast for holiday shopping and set up a jar. Every time you make an online purchase, place that amount of cash in the jar. When you run out of cash, you know you can’t spend anymore. Deposit the cash back in the bank and use it to pay off your bills.
Shop By Yourself
Never shop with children. You will find that between exasperation and desperation you may inadvertently opt to buy the more expensive items just to finish the trip. Shopping with friends or even a spouse may be stressful because of peer pressure. This is especially true if you shop with someone that does not have self-control. They may splurge left and right on large items, making your more budget-friendly choices seem cheap. Go shopping alone, and give yourself time to find the best deals and stick to your Christmas budget.