People tend to overspend during the holidays, and this is something everyone knows. Americans spend an average of $660 on gifts. This is why you should closely monitor your Christmas spending and stick to a budget during this holiday season.
If you want to avoid this, take your time to carefully plan and budget for Christmas gifts. If you don’t budget or fail stick to it, you will end up spending a lot and putting it on your credit card. According to recent data, 24% of millennials are still yet to pay off credit card debt from last Christmas.
This should not be the case for you. Below are five tips that will go a long way in helping you avoid overspending during the holidays – and still be able to get something special for people on your Christmas gifts list.
Sticking to a Budget
One of the easiest ways of avoiding overspending is having a gift budget that you stick to during the holiday season. You can include this in your financial plan so that you can put away a certain amount every month to use for Christmas gifts. Determine how much you have to spend on gifts, and how much you are going to spend on each gift. When you have a budget in place, always try your best to stick to it.
Budgeting is not fun for most people, especially during the holiday season, but look at it as a creative challenge. Gifts with a little more thought behind them (like homemade gifts) will be appreciated more compared to expensive gifts. Using such strategies will save you a lot of money, and you will remain within your budget while still making the recipients happy.
Factor in the expectations set by your family members and friends when creating your budget. If you have a large family, it is a good idea to advocate for lower spending limits.
Shops sales can save you a lot because you can get gifts at a discount rate. When you start shopping early, you will buy gifts before the prices start to rise. You will also be more relaxed and less stressed because you have all the time in the world to do your shopping.
A good trick is setting aside a given amount every month because it makes it easier for you to budget.
Planning Your Christmas List in Advance
It is a good idea to plan ahead for your Christmas gifts because it is going to save you a lot of money. You can start planning early so you can be on the lookout for Christmas during the years. Big sales holidays like Black Friday, Labor Day, And Cyber Monday are great because you will find some of the best deals.
When shopping early, have a list of what you have gotten and for whom, and what you still need to buy. Do not be in a position where you have three gifts for one person and none for another. Another way of cutting down on your Christmas spending is through online shopping and comparison shopping. Take a look at advice for the best trending gifts, especially for kids. There are dozens online. For example here is a great guide ongift ideas for 8 year olds.
Here are some great tips that will come in handy when comparison shopping and buying gifts in advance:
Have a running a list that will help you keep track of prices so you can watch out for the best price, and also keeping track of what you have bought.
Plan ahead because it will help you avoid getting stressed about finding the perfect gift.
When you have a list, you will be able to ask others where you can find great deals.
Buying One or Two Extra Christmas Gifts
It is a good idea to have one or two extra Christmas gifts because you don’t know when you might need them. It is common for most people to go for get-togethers and last-minute parties, or even parties at work. It is common for people to come with small gifts for such parties – and such gifts can easily force you to go over your Christmas gift budget.
You can avoid such a situation by having one or two generic gifts that you can give to someone when you are unexpectedly gifted or when you attend a party. Gift cards are a great option. Another option is a nice bottle of wine.
It is a good idea to have different types of generic gifts so that you can easily have something that is going to fit the recipient.
Here are some tips that will help you stock up on last-minute gifts:
Get something that you would enjoy just in case you don’t give it out.
There is the option of returning any unused gift, but it is better to have something on hand than trying to look for it at the last minute.
Encouraging Christmas Gift Exchanges
Another way of saving on gifts is by drawing names or Secret Santa. This means you will need to just shop for one person. You are going to save a lot of money, and you get the chance of shopping for just one person. You will have time to put more thought into that one gift, instead of getting several less meaningful gifts.
You can do this at the office or even with your family. Siblings of large families can do this too. Why should you consider a Secret Santa gift exchange?
People are going to end up with a nicer gift they will find useful, and everyone ends up spending way less than they normally would.
Many people will be ready for Secret Santa because they know it makes their gift shopping easier.
Giving a Gift to Someone in Need
The holiday season is your chance of giving a gift to someone who truly needs it. This might be the one gift that makes all the difference.
There are many charities you can choose to use. You can buy a gift when shopping for your Christmas gifts then drop off after, or you can choose to have a toy drive for a specific organization or even family.
You can even decide to gift those in need instead of exchanging them with your friends and family. When buying Christmas for those in need, consider the following:
You will get into the holiday spirit when you help someone else.
Instead of buying for your friends and family, get a gift for those in need. You will be doing something good while you save money.