Now that Starbucks has brought back the pumpkin spice latte, it’s only a matter of time before you have to pick up your Christmas tree and start shopping for your loved ones. Like every other year, your Christmas list is probably much longer this year than it was last year (aren’t your friends done having babies yet?). This year you can make a budget for the holiday season that won’t break the bank or cause you any undue stress.
Make a List
Know ahead of time who you are buying for. This makes shopping easier and far less stressful. When you know you will be buying gifts for only the kids or just the immediate family or just for parents this year, you will have an easier time sticking to your budget when shopping.
Make a Budget
Now that you know exactly who you have to buy for, make a budget. Perhaps you can only afford to spend $25 each on your nieces and nephews. If that’s the case, stick to it. One way to make shopping for each kid easier is to buy envelopes and place the names of each child on each envelope. Stick the amount of cash you are spending on each kid into each envelope and go shopping. When an envelope is empty, you’ve spent what you can on that kid and now you’re done shopping for that kid.
Start shopping in October and try to finish before December arrives. Perhaps budgeting a certain amount each week for holiday spending and then making a habit of ordering or picking up gifts at that time to save.
If you want to buy something from one store online, see if you can purchase anything else for someone on your list at that store also. Many stores offer free shipping if you spend a certain dollar amount, which means you will get more for your money.