Americans spent more than $730 billion on Christmas gifts and decorations last year. Unless you plan on skipping Christmas, you are a part of that figure! Keep reading for Christmas budget tips for women over 50 or any age!
It’s a wonderful thing to give and receive gifts at Christmas. That is until you go over your budget! When this happens, you are left with bills to come due and stress to keep you company.
So how do you avoid the stress of Christmas shopping and staying on a budget? Here are some tips to keep you in the “black” and enable you to enjoy the season.
1. Plan Your Spending
You must plan your spending. The amount you plan to spend on gifts should be based on your income and savings that can be used for gift buying.
Take the time to do the math. Be realistic about your budget and whatever number you decide, STICK TO IT!
2. Determine Your Gift List
Make a list of every person that you want to give a gift. Then decide how much you plan to spend on that person. You must include everyone so that you can calculate properly. Don’t allow yourself to go over your predetermined Christmas budget!
3. Track Your Spending
Track your spending as you go. This is so important when purchasing multiple gifts for one person. You may find that as you shop and find sales, that you can adjust the money savings to another person’s gift. It’s okay to adjust your original plan. As long as you stick to the total budget you will stay on track.
4. Helpful Tools
Try saving a little all year for your Christmas budget. You can do this with cash or set up a Christmas Savings Fund. Put a little money aside each month and when December comes around, you will have cash on hand ready to spend.
5. Reduced or Fixed Incomes
If your income has changed or your are now on a fixed income, consider changing some Christmas traditions. Mailing Christmas cards and special photo sessions may need to be cut from your spending list. Be honest with yourself and your family about things you may need to do differently.
Drawing names for large families is a great way to reduce the gift buying burden. Giving out baked good is a terrific gift for neighbors and coworkers. And don’t forget to watch for sales and use coupons!
6. Will the Effort Pay Off?
The answer is YES! when you are in control of how you spend your money, there is great relief from worry and stress.
Christmas is meant to be enjoyed, not a financial burden on families. Get started on creating that Christmas budget and enjoy shopping during the holidays!
If you want to discover more information about budgeting, here’s a link to Dave Ramsey’s article “How to Set Up Your Christmas Budget”.