A Gift Worth Giving

Skip to Main Content

Call 1300 881 607
International +61 2 94394733

Budgeting for Christmas Presents

Christmas may only come once a year, but for many families the financial burden of the holidays can linger for months. One of the biggest complaints people have about the Christmas holidays (besides the fact that they have to spend time with certain relatives) is that it ends up costing them way more for gifts than they had planned.

So how can you get around this? By making a budget of course! Making a holiday budget is the only way you can make it through the holidays and avoid the dreaded financial hangover when all is said and done. The following tips will help you make a gift budget, and stick to it.

Start early

The best way to ensure your budget is effective and covers all the proper expenses is to start early. As soon as you even start thinking about the holidays, you should start budgeting for it! The mains reasons to start early are to help with your holiday planning, and because it will give you enough time to tighten your belt and store away the extra cash you need for presents.

Make categories of expenses

Since gifts aren’t the only financial burden of the holidays, it’s important to make a comprehensive budget that covers everything associated with holiday spending. Although you might have some things to add, the following is a list of the main categories:

  • Gifts
  • Stocking stuffers
  • Gift wrap
  • Holiday cards
  • Family portrait
  • Holiday meals and baking supplies
  • Party gifts like gift baskets or Christmas hampers
  • Décor supplies and a Christmas tree
  • Travel expenses
  • Home improvements
  • Donations to charity
  • Post-Christmas sales

Set spending goals

Now that you have all of the categories that are important to you, you can decide on a spending limit for each. Start allocating funds to each category based on which ones are more important. For instance, if your family is going to take a long-awaited vacation this year and most of your money is going towards it, you can trim back on gifts, decorations and so forth. Once you start putting numbers on the paper it will become clear to you the places you are overspending unnecessarily. Add up the costs and start making adjustments according to how much you can actually afford to spend.

Track your expenses

While it’s all well and good that you’ve made a budget, one of the hardest parts about the holidays is actually sticking to that budget. Impulse buying as a result of poor planning is the quickest way for even the most detailed budget to get thrown off. When you’re out Christmas shopping, bring your budget with you. This way, you will be less likely to overspend.

Not only that, but you can actually keep a record of all the purchases you make so that you can be realistic about your spending as the holidays draw near. Every once in awhile, update your current spending totals and compare them to your spending goals. This way you can continually make adjustments to your goals as you see fit.

When the holiday season is over, whether you were able to stick to your budget or not, you should keep your Christmas budget list. This way you can use it to make next year’s budget even more accurate and effective.