One of the most helpful Christmas budget tips is to decide on a specific amount of money you will spend on each person on your list. When making this decision keep in mind that the chances you will over spend are fairly good especially if you are buying for your child/children or spouse.
If you do not have a Christmas club account or a separate savings account set up just for Christmas then consider purchasing one member of the family a gift each week. This of course also depends on the size of your family, the ages of the children and what is available year round. For example if your teenager wants a new video game system that will not be released until October then of course you would have to opt for the savings option.
On the other hand if your preteen has a list of books and movies a mile long you can simply pick up one or two items each week or every other week. This will greatly decrease the financial burden and also relieve the stress of searching for popular items in November or December when they are in a much higher demand.
If you’re crafty you can always make Christmas gifts for distant relatives, friends and co-workers. Crafts can provide a great source of stocking stuffers as well. There are many benefits to making Christmas gifts. The first would be the amount of money you will save which leads to having more money to spend on your children, spouse and other immediate family members.
When planning a budget for Christmas it is not just about the gifts, you also have to consider the food. A traditional Christmas meal is not an inexpensive one by any means. The average family of four will spend roughly $50 on Christmas dinner if they stick to the basics of a turkey or ham, turkey dressing, potatoes, yams, vegetables, cranberries, buns and a pie or two.
One way to help with the cost of the meal is to pick up as many items as you can through out the year that can be set aside and saved. You can pick up your canned items and even grab an extra bag of flour or pudding mix when they are on sale and save money. Most everyone sends at least a few Christmas cards, using an email card will save you a bundle on stamps. Of course there are always certain people you will send a traditional card too but if you opt to send email cards for free (there are hundreds of free card sites available on the internet) you could save as much as $8.40 for a book of stamps that could be spent on a gift or another item.
Make your Christmas stress free by following the simple tips below:
~ Get everyone’s Christmas list early
~ Shop earlier
~ Hit as many sales as possible
~ Buy one or two reasonably priced items a week or month
~ Make as many of your gifts as possible
~ Set a budget for each person and try to stay within $20 of that amount.
Budgeting your money for Christmas is not an easy task it is the season of giving and most of us give until it hurts and end up paying for it all year long!