Staying on that Holiday Budget

How many days is it to Christmas?  How many the social events are on your calendar? Are you getting stressed? If so, how do you manage to actually stay on budget?  It’s hard to do at times, but this is what I’ve found that works for us since we been under every single year that I’ve been tracking our holiday spending.

  1. Have a Budget:  This might seem obvious, but if you don’t have a total dollar amount you want to stay under how can you ever keep under it.  Also make sure to define a list of people to buy for and estimate what you can spend per person.  Don’t forget to include shipping costs and mailing all those cards.
  2. Don’t Expand Your Shopping List: Do not fall prey to buying gifts for extra people when you start shopping.  If you forgot someone on your list, you will have to make do with buying them out of your left over money once you have finished your original list.
  3. Aim Lower:  If you have a $50/person limit, don’t aim to spend $50 or with tax you will end up over.  Instead aim for $40 to $45.
  4. Low Cost Isn’t Bad:  It’s ok to find the perfect gift for someone that only costs half their budget amount.  You don’t have to spend the rest on that person just because you hit up a great sale.  Love doesn’t require you to spend your entire budget because…
  5. You Can Spend More on Some:  It’s also ok to over spend on some people as long as the rest are under budget enough to make up the difference.  So have a spreadsheet of your spending and update daily to keep track.

So that’s our short list of ways to help keep on budget.  How about you?  What do you do to stay under your holiday budget?