Is your love language gift giving? Mine is, too. But my wallet, not so much. I’m going to share with you some things we’ve learned and tips we’ve used to stay on budget with christmas shopping.
As the years have gone by my husband and I have prioritized our spending on essential things like personal care, health, investing and savings. I used to very much be into over-the-top spending and showering everyone with gift-giving, the downside was I almost always ended up broke afterwards. It got to the point where I no longer looked forward to Christmas shopping and it became more of a stress than it was enjoyable. Like most things, I put endless amount of stress on myself wanting to buy everyone, yes literally everyone, a gift for Christmas. No one asked me to, I just really like Christmas gift shopping. And to be honest, I struggled a lot with a shopping problem I took years to even acknowledge was a problem ; but that is a story for another day…
Here are some tips that helped us stay on budget:
- NOT EVERYONE NEEDS A GIFT.
I know, it sounds kind of awful. But your Sister’s cousins great aunt Sheryl, twice removed, that you’ve only spoken to twice doesn’t need that fancy Pandora bracelet. And remember, Christmas is way more than what we give or receive during this day… So, We made a list and kept it short, consisting of the people in our lives we hold close. My parents, His grandparents, one gift exchange for each of our families, and our daughter. We went from shopping for like 20 people, down to 7.
- SET A BUDGET.
When I tell you about how much we spend per person you may be shocked. You ready for it? We try to keep our spending at about $35 per person, with the exception of our daughter. Bringing us to about a total of $250. YEP! Y’all, I was EASILY spending close to $1000 years past just on Christmas shopping. INSANE. And that brings me back to tip #1, keep your gifting circle to the people you hold close. Now our budget definitely changes through the years, sometimes our budget is more and sometimes it’s less. Especially given this year’s situation, don’t feel pressured to give fancy gifts. This doesn’t mean you cant get little gifts of appreciation for your co-workers, your team, nieces and nephews, or other family members. I love making little hot-chocolate gift bags with a special thank-you note or a giftcard; and they’re super affordable. In a cute plastic gift bag add your hot coco pouch, a candy cane, and some marshmallows. VOILA! You can even turn them into little reindeer. super cute!
- KEEP IT SIMPLE.
Christmas shopping can get hard, and its easy to buy a bunch of random things and overspend when you don’t have a plan. A sister of mine shared this with me and I’ve applied it to our Christmas shopping ever since. You can have whoever you’re shopping for make a list of a NEED, a WANT, and a READ. If your budget allows you can get one from each category, or one from the entire list. This way, not only do you save money, but your gifts tend to be more meaningful and useful.
Now this one may be difficult this season with Covid, but if permitable, you can eighty-six the gift-giving and volunteer as a family at a food pantry or a soup kitchen. Years past our family made little sack dinners and drove around town feeding the homeless. This is a great way to get the family together and enjoy gifting to those in need.
And there you have it, 3 awesome ways to cut down on spending this Christmas season + 1 bonus tip. I hope you’ve enjoyed these ideas, do you have a hack to save money on Christmas shopping? Share them in the comment box!