It’s the most wonderful time of the year! And, simultaneously, the most stressful time of the year. Something y’all might not know about me is that I speak the love language of gift giving, so I want nothing more than to go all out for the people I love + care about for Christmas. But, as you can imagine, that can get me in a lot of trouble if I’m not careful; and while I want to be able to buy my parents + sisters the big, nice fancy things they deserve, at this point of my life I’m on a budget – a tight one, at that – and I figure I’m not the only one in this predicament. So, here’s what I do every Christmas season to make sure I stay on budget!
Know who you’re shopping for. My first step every Christmas is to figure out who all I’m shopping for and how much I can comfortably spend on each person.
Build your list early. Once you know who you’re shopping for, make a note of what you’re wanting to get for each person. It might change along the way, but having a general idea of what you’re looking for is going to help you find the best deals on those items later.
Plan your budget (and your shopping list) early! If I didn’t have my budgeting template, I would be so lost when it comes to finances. It allows be to be able to look ahead and see what bills I have coming up and how much I have to spare for Christmas spending. I know that life happens, so it’s likely you’ll need to tweak it along the way, but having a general plan in mind will help you avoid the stress associated by “winging it.”
Be honest with yourself. I have several “for fun” subscriptions or purchases I want to make for myself, but sometimes I really need to do some soul searching and admit that I need to use the $7, $15, or $55 to spend on someone else this season instead of myself. Cut out unnecessary expenses where you can, or at the very lest, find a compromise (ie, skipping a month of one of your subscription plans, or putting those boots you’ve been eyeing on your Christmas list instead of your credit card).
Shop early, and shop sales! I personally hate procrastinating on holiday shopping because everything is so rushed, crowded and picked over, and I don’t like “settling” on someone’s gift or not getting it at the best price because I waited until nothing was on sale anymore. By shopping sales I feel like I can get people gifts I normally wouldn’t be able to because of the price tag. I try and take advantage of sales like Black Friday + Cyber Monday, or keeping my eyes open for emails from stores/boutiques I know I want to get some shopping done at. In my opinion, as long as your gift is thoughtful, there is zero shame in buying an item at a discount!