How to Set a Christmas Budget
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December is a time of year that many people enjoy. It can also be an expensive time of year. How can you set a Christmas budget and still have the Christmas spirit? In this blog post, we will discuss Christmas budgets for every type of person.
Let me be frank here: if you are struggling financially, Christmas is not the time to go into debt. Make a Christmas budget that includes buying gifts for your family and friends but avoid going into debt. Put some money away each month in order to save for Christmas so it doesn’t feel like such an expense. Even if you have little money, if it is important to still buy gifts for your family and friends, you just need to be clever about it.
How to Set a Christmas Budget
For those of you who are in good financial shape, Christmas can be a time to spend more. Create some kind goals or guidelines so that Christmas spending does not get out of control
Christmas is the time of year when all financial plans seem to fly out the window. This year, instead of regretting the money that was spent during this busy shopping time, why not plan and stick with a budget created with your financial future in mind?
What are you going to be spending your Christmas budget on?
You need to look at the entire picture. Are you going to be doing meals? That means you have to account for food. Then there are gifts. Are you planning on any holiday shows or plays? That means you need money for tickets.
Do you bake holiday cookies? Those need ingredients. Have any holiday stockings to fill? That takes money too! Did you need a new Ugly Sweater for that office holiday party?
Do you need to buy a tree or update your holiday decorations? And last, but not least, charitable contributions – there are tons of great causes to help! From the Salvation Army to Operation Christmas Child – or even your local giving tree, there is someone whose life you can make a little brighter.
All of these are things that you need to account for – in your Christmas Budget!
Planning Ahead for Christmas Shopping
Christmas budgets can be started as soon as the last shopping season ends. Many people find that saving a little of their weekly or biweekly pay in the form of a Christmas fund is the best way to set aside money for gifts. With just a $20 contribution to a Christmas budget savings account every week, more than $1000 will be saved by Christmas.
Another great way to plan ahead financially for Christmas shopping is with sales shopping. By hitting sales that are held throughout the year, the Christmas shopping list will be smaller than ever by the time December rolls around.
Taking a Chance With Your Christmas Budget
If you are lucky enough to qualify for a yearly bonus that comes around Christmas time, that bonus could be used as the entire Christmas budget. Depending on the bonus will depend on how much money is commonly given and how secure the bonus is from year to year.
If the Christmas bonus fluctuates depending on the sales and performance of the business, there could be a huge chance taken when waiting for that bonus to cover all Christmas shopping. It is safer to stick with a budget.
Last-minute shoppers tend to be last-minute savers and this could mean putting off all November bills to pay for this year’s Christmas shopping. Unfortunately, though the gifts will be purchased, the bills will be one month behind for the entire year unless a double month can be paid somewhere along the line.
Christmas and the Credit Card
Credit cards are often paid off during the 11 months before Christmas and maxed out within one month. Credit cards charge a huge amount of interest, in most cases, which means paying more than retail value for the gifts purchased.
Here is a good example:
You buy that $100 sweater on sale for $80. You pay by credit card, and let’s just skip sales tax for the ease of math. If your credit card has an 18% interest rate and you take 10 months to pay off that sweater? It ended up costing you $121.
It is easy to see how paying the minimum amount each month will leave the credit card balance minimally paid down by the next season, and your expense for borrowing the money to make that purchase.
Next season, some people figure that either new credit cards will need to be acquired or alternative funding chosen for Christmas gift shopping.
The Best Way to Plan a Christmas Budget
Without a doubt, the best choice in Christmas budgeting is planning ahead. Whether you are saving money along the way or buying gifts throughout the year, the person who plans ahead will be the one that is able to enjoy Christmas with the financial ease of mind they deserve.
To make your Christmas financial needs a little clearer, I have a budget planner for you today – you can print it off FREE. A planner helps break down the different areas you want to spend money on and then helps you break it down further – to be specific.
If you know what you will need, it helps to figure out what you will be keeping your eye out for over the course of the year – either to tuck away some savings or to keep an eye on the sales for those deeper discounts.
It really does pay to plan ahead.
Get started now!
Print off my sheet and start making your plans. See what you are going to need for financials and also what you are going to be watching for at the stores.
You got this – and can enjoy the holiday season without having to pay all the next year for it!
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Other articles you may find helpful or interesting:
- Christmas Travel Tips: Planning for an Easier Holiday Season
- Easy Tips to Save Money on Christmas Cards
- The Best Ugly Sweater Christmas Party
- How to Set a Christmas Budget
- Are Christmas Trees Toxic to Dogs?