Seven Steps for Holiday Budgeting
Purchasing gifts can get expensive. Luckily, I’ve devised the perfect budgeting plan…and I’m sharing it with you.
Make a list. Check it twice. Include family, friends, coworkers, neighbours, gift exchanges, decorations, travel expenses and food – basically everything you’ll spend money on this holiday season.
Assign a dollar value. Don’t worry about the overall cost yet. Consult last year’s receipts (if you have them) and credit card statements for items like travel expenses and food.
Calculate the amounts from Step 2. If the total is more than you can easily pay by the end of January, revise. Reduce overly generous amounts. Consider alternatives to items that aren’t 100% necessary. Don’t have wrapping paper? Use newspaper with ribbon. Don’t have greeting cards? Send e-cards.
Craft a battle plan. Research stores and find sales. Come up with three ideas on budget for each person, just in case what you want isn’t available.
Mission impossible time. Hunt down the items you researched in Step 4 and don’t, under any circumstances, purchase anything over your budget. If you find something that you absolutely have to buy for someone, make note of it and put it back. You can come back for it if your budget allows.
Review your budget after every shopping trip. Halfway through, check if you’re under or over budget. If you’re under, you can go back and buy that item you found in Step 5.
When you’re done all of your shopping, review your budget for a final time. Did you come in under budget? Great! Treat yourself to a pumpkin spice latté. However, don’t stress if you ARE over budget by $100. You still did well!