Christmas is expensive I want to share some tips for Christmas Shopping on a Budget. If you want to do Christmas on a Budget check out these cheap Christmas Gift Ideas. Set your holiday spending budget and learn how to make a Christmas budget.
Christmas shopping can be expensive and stressful, not to mention time-consuming, but following a few simple Christmas shopping on budget tips and tricks are sure to help Christmas shoppers to save money, time and avoid some of the traditional holiday stress!
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Tips for Christmas shopping on a budget
These affordable Christmas idea tips may be just what you need to keep your holiday shopping reigned in and on track.
How much money should you save for Christmas?
There isn’t an exact amount of money I can say should be saved for Christmas because every home is different. Some people have bigger families than others. There are too many factors to give you an exact dollar amount.
However, what I can say is you don’t want to spend more than 1% of your yearly earning on the holidays. According to Kirk Jewell, a certified financial planner (CFP) and founder of Global Financial Services, “a good rule of thumb is to spend no more than 1 percent of your overall income on the holidays.”
If your household earnings are $100,000 per year you don’t want to exceed more than $1,000.
This Christmas budget calculator can really help you create a great Christmas budget.
Why is having a Christmas budget important?
Having a Christmas budget is important because it’s important to know exactly where your money is going. You don’t want to overspend and end up paying interest for years to come.
What should the Christmas shopping budget include?
Your Christmas shopping budget should include everything from party supplies, to gifts, to decorations, and yes, even dinner. All of these items add up quickly. If you want to stick to a budget then you’ll want to make sure to track every dollar you are spending on Christmas.
How to Christmas shop on a budget?
Now let’s talk about how to shop on a budget for Christmas. There are many things you can do to stick to your budget. I have a full post on frugal gift-giving tips to help you reduce your holiday spending.
Here are some simple things you can do to stick to your Christmas shopping budget:
- Make a nice meal, not an expensive one (prime rib doesn’t need to be the main course, turkey or chicken will do just fine).
- Make handmade gifts (baking bread, cookies, or sewing throw pillows, making soap, or sugar scrubs are awesome gifts to give).
- Use what you have – there is no need to buy new decorations each year, use the decorations from years past.
- Clip tree branches and collect pinecones – I have a few trees I clip each winter to make my own fresh garland and Christmas wreaths instead of buying them. You can also make your own cinnamon-scented pinecones.
- Make Christmas cards – Using plain cardstock and a stamp can go a long way when creating your own Christmas cards.
- Make your own printable gift tags – I print labels out each year instead of buying them. I’ve got a free printable you can download for that.
- Cut out unnecessary items – if you don’t need it, cut it off your shopping list. This will be the easiest way to stick to your Christmas shopping budget.
Start saving, shopping, and planning early
In order to stick to your Christmas shopping budget it’s important to give yourself time. Create a plan. Know who you are shopping for, what parties you’ll be attending or throwing, and start saving as soon as possible.
The more time you have to save the better off you’ll be. Keep in mind that you don’t need to buy expensive gifts just because you want to impress someone.
Here are some tips to shopping early:
- Shop after Christmas sales for next year
- Create gift categories and then shop for the category at once like stocking stuffers, or teacher gifts
- Keep track of what you buy – make a list and check it twice so you don’t overspend.
Ways to improve your shopping experience
I don’t know about you but I’m not a fan of Christmas shopping. Here are a few things I’ve done to improve my Christmas shopping experience:
- Shop online – This probably goes without saying BUT if you’re unsure about items you need to do your research. Check review, check sizes, and make sure items are the true color (if applicable)
- Shop during “off” hours – Do a quick Google search and see when the store is busiest and shop during the less busy times.
- Make it an activity – Bring a girl-friend and enjoy dinner. You can make it a social gathering.
I hope you find these tips helpful and will allow you to stick to your Christmas shopping budget this year.