Do the costs of Christmas usually dampen your bright holiday mood? Then plan to make this year different! How? With a budget. Yes, there it is, that word we all love so much. A Christmas budget can be really helpful at keeping your spending under control, while still allowing you to have a fun holiday season! To help you create a budget that works, here’s How to Make a Christmas Budget –
How to Make a Christmas Budget
1. Set Your Amount
The first thing you need to do when making your Christmas budget is figure out exactly how much you can spend on Christmas this year. Not how much you want to be able to spend, how much you actually can spend. This means you’ll want to take a look at your monthly budget and also factor in any Christmas saving/sinking funds you may have been filling. If the final number you come up with isn’t as high as you like, you may need to accept that number. Or find ways to save a lot of money fast (like having a no-spend week or two), or maybe make extra cash (with online surveys, a garage sale, etc.).
2. Figure Out Your Gift Recipients
It’s hard to make a Christmas budget if you don’t know how many gifts you need to get! So your next step is figuring out exactly who you’re buying gifts for. Did you make any new friends this year? Any coworkers you want to get presents for? Consider everyone in your life that you’d like to give a gift to. If your list gets too long, you may want to consider if everyone really needs an actual gift. Maybe some people are more acquaintances than good friends, and a nice card could suffice. Or maybe you should just give small gifts to your coworkers instead of bigger presents.
3. Divvy Up Your Budget
Now that you know who you need to spend money on and whether you’d like to get them big or small gifts, you need to figure out exactly where all your Christmas money will be going. How much needs to go toward gifts, food, activities, donations, and decor? At this point you may need to adjust your gift plans again. You may also need to look through your garage and see how much Christmas decor you can reuse. The less new decor you have to buy, the more of your budget you can put toward other Christmas things! As you make a Christmas budget, you’ll find you have to adjust the different categories back and forth a bit until each area is accounted for, with some extra money set aside for situations where things don’t go as planned.
4. Track and Adjust
Just because you’ve got an ideal budget written down doesn’t mean you’re finished! Part of what makes it so hard to make a Christmas budget versus a regular budget is that there’s so much you can’t anticipate. Plans may have to change at the last moment, or you may come across the perfect gift you’d never thought to buy! This isn’t a bad thing, but it does mean you need to carefully track your Christmas budget, and possibly even adjust it mid-season. Making changes isn’t bad, but going over-budget is, so adjust your budget as much as you need to. If necessary, you can even return some decor or gifts to create more space in your budget for other things you’ve come across.
If you follow these tips, you’ll be able to experience a lovely Christmas free of money worries because you’ll have your budget to guide you!
Do you usually make a Christmas budget?