We all want to save money during the holiday season, but it can be difficult when you’re feeling the pressure to buy fantastic gifts for everyone on your list. The only way to get through it without spending beyond your means is to create a proper budget and keep to it. Here are our 5 tips for creating your gift-buying budget and sticking to it!
- Create a list for who you would like to buy gifts for:
There are many people in your life, from family to friends to co-workers, who you will want to buy gifts for. The best way to not get overwhelmed is to write down a list of the people who you will want to purchase gifts for during the year. This will ensure you are well prepared in advance and that you can budget accordingly for the amount of gifts you will have to buy. While writing this list, also consider how much money you will need to allocate to each person – or who to scratch off from the list.
- Determine what you can afford to spend:
Like any good budget, you will need to decide upon a realistic and conservative number that you can afford to spend. Begin by recording your monthly earnings along with all your monthly expenses. Once you have calculated the excess money you have left over, decide from there how much you would like to allocate to gifts monthly. Divide your calculated figure amongst the people on your list to see your budget per person. This is a great way to understand what you can afford and will give you more incentive to stick with your budget and not go over.
- Adjust your budget if needed:
Budgets are not supposed to be broken, but that doesn’t mean they can’t be adjusted. Based on external factors, you may find yourself with more or less money throughout the year. You may also need to add or remove people off your gift list. If this is the case then it is okay to reallocate your budget and adjust it appropriately. However, always keep in mind what you can afford and always adjust your budget accordingly when changes are made in your gift spending.
- Hold on to previous year’s budgets to help you plan for this year:
If you used a gift buying budget last year, then bring it out this year. This is a great starting point for deciding how much money you will need this year and where you can tighten or need to loosen your spending. Keep track of your budget every year to become more efficient and accurate for the following year.
- Do your research before shopping:
Lastly, but most importantly, you must stick to your budget. To do this, you will want to do research prior to entering the malls to make sure you are getting the most competitive prices possible. Certain stores will have sales and sometimes buying online is the more affordable option. You may also get bulk discounts at certain locations, and since you already have your list of people in mind you can stock up and save big on gifts for everyone.
Sticking to a budget can be difficult during the holiday season, but there is nothing better than finding a great deal that leaves you with money in your pocket! By creating a gift-buying budget, you will have a happier holiday season and a great New Year when it comes to your finances. Call us today for more information and resources about creating a budget for your life.