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4 Tips to Setting Up a Budget for Christmas Gifts

It’s that special time of year again, and that means Christmas music, colorful lights, eggnog and shopping for presents. Are you financially ready for the challenge? Although getting ready for the Christmas season can be a lot of fun, it can also become stressful if you are short on funds.

Have you prepared a shopping list and a Christmas budget? If not, it’s not too late to create a plan that fits your budget. Here’s 4 tips that can help you design a budget that works for the Christmas season and beyond.

Look to Christmas Past

When putting together your shopping budget, it’s important to take a look back at what you’ve spent on previous Christmases. Did you go overboard with mountains of presents? After it was over, did you need to search for Florida payday loans near me just to recover?

Ask yourself what you can cut back on this year to make your Christmas shopping budget a little more reasonable this time around. Learning from past mistakes is what progress is all about. That’s the beauty of our blunders. They’re like guidelines to show us how we can improve our future efforts.

This year, make your Christmas shopping about learning from past mistakes and budget differently by cutting out all the excess distractions and focus on what really matters; friends, family and spending quality time together.

Categorize Your Shopping List

Though gifts are probably the biggest budget busters on Christmas, it’s important to recognize that your Christmas budget needs to contain all associated costs, including decorations, food, parties and travel. But if money is tight this year, why not consider cutting certain things out altogether?

For example, if traveling is one of your holiday traditions, maybe staying home this year is a better option. A move like this could give you extra room for other Christmas expenses. Once you’ve figured out what you’re going to need money for this year, categorize your expenses accordingly. Your categories should include things like gifts, decorations, Christmas cards, parties, etc.

Make a List

Now that your budget plan is coming together, it’s time to make a list of the people you plan to shop for this year. When deciding who makes the cut, it’s a good idea to keep it simple. If you’re budget doesn’t allow you to buy gifts for all your friends, neighbors, the mailman and whoever else, try giving your shopping list a trim. It’s not necessary to buy presents for everyone you know, so keep your list simple and realistic. Only immediate family and maybe a few close friends should be included on your budget-friendly Christmas shopping list.

Track Your Spending

In order to keep track of your spending, consider doing all of your Christmas shopping online. Online shopping is a lot easier to manage than braving the crowds at the mall. Stores are filled with distracting signs, price tags and flashy displays that can easily cause you to overspend or make impulsive purchases, so stick to the web.

You can browse gift ideas that fit your budget and complete all your shopping from the comfort of home. Plus, shopping online has other advantages. You can organize your shopping by category and price, and even narrow down your search by setting a pre-determined a price limit. After finding the best price, click away and let the gifts come to you.

Stick to these budgeting tips and you won’t have to start the New Year in debt up to your ears ever again. An important thing to note is that you shouldn’t feel pressured to be a big spender. In the end, Christmas is not about the presents themselves, but the love behind the act of giving them. It’s the thought that always counts and no matter what you give, your loved ones will appreciate you for it.