It is so important to create a budget for your Christmas spending. Otherwise, you’ll spend and spend without really knowing where your money is going. But this doesn’t have to be a complicated process. I’m going to walk you through exactly how to create a Christmas budget that you can stick to. Oh, and then I’ll give you a free printable that you can use to create your own budget.
How to Create a Christmas Budget
Some people make this process much more complicated than it needs to be. Let’s keep it simple. I think you’ll be surprised at how uncomplicated this process can actually be.
What is a Christmas Budget
A Christmas budget is basically a plan for exactly what you’re going to spend each of your precious holiday dollars on.
You should reference your budget as you spend, and use it to keep yourself on track.
I think it’s easiest if you separate your Christmas budget into two parts. One part should be gifts and the other part should be other Christmas expenses.
You can print out my 2017 Holiday Spending Plan here and use that to follow along with the steps of creating your Christmas budget.
You need to start your gift budget by listing the name of every person that you’ll want to buy a gift for this year.
Keep in mind that you don’t necessarily need to purchase a gift for everyone. You can give free gifts to some of those people on your list.
After you list the names of everyone that you want to buy for, you should list the amount that you want to spend on them next to their name. This is a great way to see the big picture of how much you’ll actually be spending on gifts.
As you’re doing this, it’s a good idea to brainstorm gift ideas for each person that you could potentially find for the amount that you want to spend on them. I think this is easier to do when you’re already thinking about it.
After you assign an amount to each person on your list, add up all those numbers. Is this amount reasonable for you? Can you afford to spend that much on gifts? If not, go back and adjust your spending goals.
You can use the first page of my holiday spending plan to organize this list.
If you and your spouse will both be shopping for gifts, discuss your gift budget together. Making sure that you’re on the same page to begin with will save you a lot of headaches (and returns) in the long run.
Other Christmas Expenses
On another page, list all of the other things you’ll have to pay for during the holiday season. This should include things like a Christmas tree, food and entertainment expenses, holiday outings, etc.
Basically, anything related to Christmas that isn’t a gift goes on this list.
This is an important thing to track. Oftentimes, we spend so many precious holiday dollars on all the holiday things that aren’t gift because we tell ourselves “it’s for the holidays!”
Be deliberate about what you’re going to buy. Plan it ahead of time. The second page of my holiday spending plan is dedicated to helping you with this.
When you can, choose items that will last you several years. Holiday décor, for example, should be built to last so you’re not buying the same things over and over.
How will you pay for it?
It might seem a little bit backwards, but I always want to know how much money I need before I create a plan to save for it.
So, I figure out how much I’ll need to spend on gifts and other expenses, and then I plan for how I will save.
Do you need to put money aside all year long? No way. Here are 5 ways to save for the holidays right now.
You can use the last page of my holiday spending plan to create your plan for saving.
This is an important step in your Christmas budget. Saving money ahead of time will stop you from overextending yourself and going into debt just to pay for the holidays. It’s the smart thing to do.
A Christmas budget is an essential tool to help you know exactly where your money is going. Having a plan will keep you on track when the holidays start to get hectic. Budgeting for gifts and other expenses separately will help you keep things organized. And don’t forget to get your FREE 2017 Holiday Spending Plan! It’ll make creating your simple Christmas budget so much easier.
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