Make a Budget
Decide what your max budget is and work within that budget.
Look for deals/coupon
Most stores offer discounts, coupons, red hot deals, etc. leading up to the holidays. Make sure to capitalize on those deals! Hone your bargain shopping skills and cross items off your list.
Start saving each month to build an allowance for the holidays. A few dollars per paycheck adds up!
Don’t procrastinate. Waiting until the last minute puts stress on you and restricts your budget. Buy gifts throughout the year and save them to give at the holidays.
Plastic is out of sight out of mind. If you aren’t careful you can ring up a lot of debt over the holidays. Using cash gives you a limit which keeps your budget in check and saves you from mountains of debt in the New Year.
Consider your gift list
If your gift list gets longer every year, consider cutting back. Assign a dollar amount to each person. If you are over your max budget, you need to reconsider who you are buying for or how much you are spending per person.
You don’t have to buy an expensive gift for everyone. Handmade items are thoughtful and typically less expensive. Cookies, cards, soaps, ornaments, etc. can go a long way to cross people off your gift list and save your budget.
Sometimes spending quality time with someone is the greatest gift of all! Maybe you don’t live close by or you work long/odd hours; take some time to visit with friends and family. That may be just what they were hoping for!
Stick to your list
Make a list and check it twice! Try to come up with ideas for each person on your list and stick to the list. Impulse buys don’t follow a budget and spending can get out of control!
Families tend to grow year to year. Friend groups expand. More holiday events are planned. With every new person and event your list gets longer and your budget gets higher. Talk to your family and friends about doing a Secret Santa instead of buying gifts for everyone. This will significantly help you cut back and save some major dough!