Putting Together A Proper Christmas Budget
A Christmas budget is necessary every time the festive season rolls around. It stops you from overspending year by year on a single day that we also have to plan for next year as well, and ultimately, it helps you to keep any present expectations manageable too!
And a lot of us want to have budget friendly Christmases each year, but how do you start with putting together a budget specifically for Christmas? After all, sitting down to put a plan together can be extremely overwhelming, thanks to just how many details go into bringing out the Christmas spirit.
But we’ve got some advice for you below on doing just that – as long as you’ve got a bit of time, you can make Christmas spending easy this year!
What’s Your Typical Christmas Spending?
This is the first thing to do, and you can get through this point pretty quickly. What do you usually spend on Christmas? How much do you tend to save for this time of year? Where do you usually shop for presents, decorations, food, etc?
Do a bit of research right now and come up with an answer; add together the price point of every item you’d typically buy for Christmas and see how expensive they are at large. That’s your typical spending, and often enough, it’s a lot higher than we ever thought it could be!
Know How Much You Want to Spend
What do you want to spend on Christmas this year? What did you spend last year? What’s the most expensive Chrisrmas you’ve ever had? What was the most budget friendly Christmas you ever had? Without knowing these questions, which you would have worked out in step one, you’re not going to be able to complete this step.
And it’s pretty crucial that you do, as this is the overarching part of the budget. What you want to spend on Christmas versus what you actually spend are usually poles apart, and it’s time to work that former number down to be closer to the latter. So, think about the fixed expenses you simply can’t have Christmas without (the tree, for example), and then think about where you could get certain items cheaper, and what items you could do without.
Have a Definite List of Who to Buy For
Do you even know who you’re buying for this year? Maybe there’s a new family member you’ve got to factor in? Maybe you’ve made a couple of new friends and want to gift them something small? Maybe one of your kids has really bonded with one of their teachers this year? It’s important to track this progress as you go, as every single year we give to a selection of people that are a little bit different! So, now’s the time to sit down and write your list.
Start with sorting people into groups: close family, close friends, more distant relatives, family friends, etc., and then come up with an average price point for each of those groups. Usually these groups come in descending order; someone like your partner or your parents would go in the first group, meaning they get the biggest price point, but your son’s teacher would go into the family friend group, meaning you’d be willing to spend $10 at most.
Stretch Your Income a Little
Finally, if you’ve got your budget altogether and you’re finding that money is a little thin, it’s an idea to look into ways to make your income stretch a little further. Don’t worry, you’re not going to have to pick up a seasonal job or need to cut back in other areas; there are a lot of ways to make money from home for beginners, and you just need to dig deeper into this idea!
For example, if you’ve got some spare time on your hands right now, think about hopping online to use websites like Swagbucks. You can get paid to do a lot of different things online when using a site like this: surveys, watching videos, playing games, etc., all from the comfort of your computer screen. And you’ll also be able to cash out in a number of different useful ways, depending on what you’re using to buy presents this year.
A proper Christmas budget will save you a lot of stress and hassle this year. Make sure you take some time to work out the fundamentals before you start buying, and never forget to make that present list!