How To Make A Christmas Budget
The holidays are one of the best times of the year to show our appreciation for the people around us, and to celebrate friends and family, too. It’s been fondly called the season for giving, and for good reason: every year, those who celebrate Christmas take the time and effort to seek out presents they know their loved ones will appreciate, as well as carving out substantial time to spend with those they hold dear. But as we all know, the holidays can also be a trying time for those on a budget, whether they’ve got a savings goal, limited spending allowances, or anywhere in between. If this sounds like you, and you’re wondering if there are any budgeting tips you can integrate into your routine, read this handy guide on how to make a Christmas budget to keep you on track!
Planning is Key
As we countdown to Christmas, it’s important to head into this season with a plan. As retailers and online stores ramp up for Christmas sales, you need to make sure that you’ve at least got a general idea of what presents you’re keeping an eye out for, and who you’re purchasing them for, too. Make a list of who you’re wanting to give presents to this year, and brainstorm possible gifts early - this makes it not only easier to find the perfect present as the month progresses, but it also gives you an idea of how much you’ll be spending overall, too.
When planning out your presents, it’s important to also be aware of how much each gift will cost. It might be a good idea to place a spending limit for your presents, especially if you’re thinking of getting lots of gifts for lots of people. Your budget will only be good if you plan well! Knowing who’s getting a present, knowing what you’re getting them, and sticking to your spending limit will keep you on track with your budget with less stress.
And don’t forget, Christmas isn’t about expensive, over-the-top presents. It’s all about thoughtful gifts or experiences that make the recipient feel appreciated and loved, and sometimes this can mean a great gift isn’t necessarily a pricey one, too.
Track Your Spending
Once you’ve got a budget down, it’s all about trying your best to stick to it. For some, this can mean using a money-managing app on your phone that will help you record where your money goes. Whether it’s presents for family and friends, money spent on Christmas decorations, your grocery expenses for Christmas lunch and dinner, and everything in between, if you’re serious about sticking to your budget and not overspending, you might find that this can help you be more mindful of what you’re purchasing.
For others, they might find that the old-school trick of putting your money in an envelope and using only cash to pay for presents and expenses can help keep you on track. It’s rather simple: if you can’t pay for it from the money in your budget envelope, it won’t fit your budget. Having the physical experience of handing over cash instead of swiping or tapping a card also helps some shoppers have a visual of how much money they’re actually spending per transaction, too, which helps them become more mindful of what they’re buying.
Shop Early and Look For Deals
Try to stagger your purchases as best as you can: your wallet will thank you for it! Last minute Christmas shopping is not only stressful, but it can also do a number on your wallet, as things run out of stock and you pay a premium price for presents that were on sale earlier in the year. Instead, try to shop around and find what’s on sale throughout the year, so that when you’re doing the rest of your holiday shopping in November and December, you won’t have to spend as much!
Plan Ahead For Holiday Getaways
As this year draws to a close, and borders begin to open for travel, it can be tempting to go on holiday with friends and family. If you’re trying to work out a budget for this, remember that it’s not just airfare, petrol costs, or accommodation expenses that need consideration. You also need to check if you have enough annual leave from work for the time you’ll be taking off, as well as what bills are due during your work holiday break. Make sure that you put this into your budget if you’re taking some time off work, as these still need to be paid even if it’s the holiday season. And if you’re worried you might run over your budget some, consider applying for short term loans to keep you on track for a fun holiday season!
Stick To Your List, Don’t Buy the Perfect Gift For Yourself
Often when we’re Christmas shopping for others, we tend to find the perfect gift for ourselves amongst all the things we see on sale. It’s only natural! But don’t fall into that trap, especially if it’s not in your budget. Prioritise the list of presents you need to purchase first, and all Christmas-related expenses, before buying yourself a present.
After all, boxing day sales may mean that your sought-after item will be heavily discounted, or you might find that in the next year, when your finances have recovered from all the holiday spending, that you’ll be able to snag them for much cheaper without the guilt, too. Stick to your list, stick to your budget, and hit the snooze button on buying presents for yourself just for this month: your wallet will definitely thank you for it!
If you’re on a budget, and just need some extra cash to get you what you need for Christmas, Ferratum offers short term loans for Australia which can be just the boost you’re after to afford that awesome present. With a quick and easy application process, take some stress out of Christmas budgeting with Ferratum today.