How to Handle Christmas on a Budget (plus a look into my budget!)
Are you budgeting for Christmas? I hope so! It should be treated just like any other expense– because it’s so easy to go overboard! Even though this is the season for giving– its not the season for going broke. I imagine that you might be traveling, spending money on every family member in your family tree and possibly even planning on making several big purchases because EVERYTHING is on sale. I’d love to challenge you to make a budget. There is no reason not too and it will probably do you really well 🙂
SunTrust gave me the opportunity to use their Holiday Budget Worksheet to lay my budget out and I figured I’d share it with you. I absolutely love how easy SunTrust has made this budgeting worksheet. Take a look at our budget:
You can put money wherever you need it. We have a pretty small decor budget because we re-use most of our stuff. Also, we don’t generally travel during this time either– but if you do, even better because they have a spot just for you. There is even a tab to get even further into your budget, where you set budgets for each family member specifically. Organized and Spreadsheet– definitely my jam! 😉
Here are a couple of extra tips for Handing Christmas on a budget:
Start in January
Really, handling Christmas financially for several comes down to starting early enough. I have heard of people starting as early as January. The earlier you start, the better. When you’re on a tight budget, you need as much time as possible to prepare.
Set a budget for each person
Have a large family? Set a budget for each person. Get an envelope and put the budget amount in the envelope. When you go shopping for that person, use that person’s envelope. Once the money is gone, it’s gone. This helps too much ensuring you stay on target financially for everyone you need to buy presents for. SunTrust makes this super easy in their Holiday Gift Guide
Do a gift exchange
This works out well if you have a large extended family. Doing a gift exchange allows a chance for everyone to have a gift without having to buy a gift for every single person in the family. Just make sure you set a budget for everyone and request that every tries the best they can to stay within that budget. Encourage everyone to use their creativity as well. There is nothing worse than going home with a blow dryer when you bought something cool.
Pay attention to those sales
You’re going to make it a good Christmas if you pay attention to the sales. Most large families can’t afford to pay full price for something. If you can pay full price, great. If not, those sales will help you afford more this Christmas for your family. Don’t be shy about not spending a ton of money on someone. You can get a great gift for someone and not spend your retirement fund on it.
Keep track of who you buy for
Without a doubt, buying a lot of gifts can get confusing quickly. Keep track of who you buy for and what you bought for them. This list will be important when you start wrapping. It’s also nice to see those people get crossed off your list as you shop through the season.
Don’t get caught up in the money aspect of it
Money can be stressful when you’re buying for several people. Do the best you can and don’t get stressed out. Remember that this is a great time to remember WHY you have a family. It’s truly not about the gifts.
Hopefully these tips will help you handle Christmas on a Budget!
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This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of SunTrust. The opinions and text are all mine.