Christmas Shopping on a Budget


Christmas is a time of giving, but it can also be a time of financial burdens.  If you have a large family or large circle of friends that exchange Christmas gifts, your shopping budget can grow to be extremely difficult.  What do you do if you are on a budget but your circle of gift-givers like to exchange expensive gifts?  There are ways to help you to cope with these financial burdens from Christmas shopping.  

The first step to dealing with Christmas is setting a budget.  In order to set your budget, you will need a list of all of the people you would like to purchase a gift for.  Don’t forget to include your close friends and the family members that you intend to purchase gifts for.  When making your list, add in co-workers, postal workers and children’s teachers, etc that you will want to purchase something for.  If you have the ability, also budget in the gifts you will be donating to toy drives.  

After creating your list of gift recipients, you have two options to divvy up your budget. With one option, you can take your full budget and divide it by the number of people in your list.  This will give you the same amount to purchase for each recipient.  

The next option is to divide your gift recipients into categories, for example, family, close friends, co-workers, etc.  Now think about what percentage of your total budget you’d like to spend on the category.  Maybe you plan on spending 50% of your budget on your family, then you have 50% to divide among the other categories.  For example, maybe you want to spend 50% on your family, 30% on your close friends and 20% on your co-workers/teachers.  After you have this figured out, divide by the number of people in each category to help you decide how much to spend on each gift.  

Another way to help you through the financial stress of Christmas shopping is to shop throughout the year.  If you break up your shopping over the 12 months, you won’t notice the extra expense as it will be spread over such a long period of time.  You can pick up items as you find them on sale, putting them away until Christmas.  You can start this right after Christmas with all of the sales and be ready for the following year in no time.  

Although we’re getting closer and closer to Christmas, you still have time to set your budget to ensure you don’t go deep into debt.  Using the right strategy will keep our gift recipients happy and your bank account out of the red.  



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