The holiday season is upon us and that means countless hours (and dollars) spent Christmas shopping. Whether you turn to the Internet for gifts or battle the masses on Black Friday, it’s important to create a holiday budget.
But with so many special people to buy for, how do you know how much to spend on Christmas gifts? While there’s no one-size-fits-all answer, a few tips and tricks can help you keep your holiday finances in order.
Grab your shopping list and let’s get started!
Make a List and Stick to It
Gift-giving can get out of hand. Once you start making a list of who you want to buy for, it can be tempting to add on more and more people.
Try to make a single gift-giving list and stick to it. Don’t feel guilty if you can’t buy gifts for everyone. Most people understand how expensive Christmas can be and won’t be offended if they don’t make the cut.
Make a list of immediate family and friends. Show gratitude to large groups like your child’s teachers or office staff by baking something they can all enjoy and share together. This cuts down big-time on the cost of Christmas and still helps you show your appreciation.
Regift (Within Reason)
Re-gifting has gotten a bad rap in recent years. While it’s a little distasteful to take a gift someone purchased you and give it to someone else, this is a viable way to save Christmas money in a pinch.
We’re not suggesting you regift meaningful and expensive items that close family and friends have given to you. These are sentimental and should be treated as such.
But if you have more hand lotion and candles than you know what to do with, it’s acceptable to give a few of these items as small tokens of gratitude to others. These types of gifts also make great stocker stuffers or grab-bag items!
Take Advantage of Black Friday and Cyber Monday Deals
Do you love a good bargain? If so, you can’t beat shopping on Black Friday or taking advantage of cyber Monday deals.
These holiday sales are especially good for electronics. If you’re looking to purchase big-ticket items like televisions or gaming consoles, you’re better off hitting the stores early on Black Friday. Cyber Monday is best for smaller items and tech gadgets.
The goods news is, many stores offer special deals and savings the entire week following Black Friday. Take your list and plan exactly which gift you want for who. This will make deal-day shopping even easier and help you stick to your budget.
Don’t Exchange with Certain People
Christmas is about family, love, and most of all, the children! Why not reserve gift-giving for the kids only?
Get together with all the adults in your life and make a pact not to buy each other Christmas gifts. You can still buy for immediate family members but skip exchanging with friends, neighbors, and coworkers.
If you don’t want to give up the gift exchange entirely, organize a Secret Santa gift swap with your entire group of friends. This way everyone gets a gift, you still feel the joy of giving, and everyone saves!
Get Crafty and Creative
DIY gifts are the way to go if you’re looking to save some money this holiday season. Homemade gifts also come from the heart and are more meaningful than store-bought items.
Get creative and do some research online to come up with useful DIY gifts that you can easily make and hand out to friends and family. Choose the same gift and buy the materials in bulk to save even more.
Don’t want to give cookie-cutter gifts? Make subtle changes to each one to make them more personal. People will appreciate the time and effort you put into their gift this year.
Give Gifts People Actually Want
Remember those regifted candles and hand lotions mentioned earlier? They fall into the category of unimaginative gifts that no one really wants or needs.
Don’t waste your money on a gift that the person may never use. Instead, put some thought into it and use your money to buy something the recipient truly needs and wants.
Pay close attention in the months leading up to Christmas. Is there something your partner or sibling has mentioned wanting? Have you seen them struggle to complete a task and know the perfect gift to make their life easier?
When you buy gifts for people that they really want, you’re getting your money’s worth and they’re getting something they’ll actually use.
Another great way to guarantee everyone gets what they want is to have a team-meeting with friends and family. This is especially helpful when shopping for kids.
You don’t have to overextend yourself financially trying to get your kids everything on their list. Instead, share their wish-list with other family members. This way, the children get exactly what they want and family members feel good putting a smile on their faces.
Create a Budget
When it comes to figuring out how much to spend on Christmas gifts, it’s about budgeting. Along with a list of recipients and gift ideas, you need to create a spending limit.
Not only does this prevent you from overspending but it gives you a jumping-off point for brainstorming gifts. Now you can search online for, “the best gifts under $20”, and get inspired!
How Much to Spend on Christmas Gifts is All About Planning
All too often we impulse buy. Without a plan, you might forget what gifts you bought, how much you’ve spent, and who you still need to shop for.
Before you even head to the store or open your laptop, create a list of recipients and a budget. This will help you narrow down how much to spend on Christmas gifts.
Once your list is complete, stick to it!
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