Money Saving Tip: Develop a Holiday Budget

5 Tips for Sticking With a Holiday Budget

Now that the holiday shopping season is here, it’s easy to get caught up in all of the “deals,” excitement and checking things off your list. That’s certainly understandable, but one major cause of stress this time of year is overspending on gifts. According to the 2019 Bankrate Holiday Gifting Survey, about half (51 percent) of the survey respondents told Bankrate that they feel pressure to spend more than they are comfortable with on gifts during the holidays. That’s why it’s so important to develop a holiday budget and stick with it.

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The holidays are a beautiful time of year that bring friends and family together. You don’t want those experiences to be overshadowed by stress. You also don’t want to get an overwhelming credit card bill in January to get your year off on a stressful note.

5 Tips for Sticking With a Holiday Budget

Here are 4 tips to keep in mind as you shop this year:

  • Develop a holiday budget that you feel comfortable with and stick with it.
  • If your kids are asking for things that are beyond that budget, ask them to choose their top 1-3 items as long as those things fit within your limits. If they don’t, then ask them to narrow down more or honestly tell them that those things cost too much. You can tell them that your family is focusing on making sure that each person gets 1-2 really special things this year and are limiting it at that. We have done a version of this with our boys and everyone was fine.
  • Even Santa has limits. In our house, even Santa had limits because we wanted to make sure that all the children were able to get something really special. It also sets the tone for helping them to understand what the holidays are really about for your family and that it’s not necessarily just a time to throw the doors wide open for them to get anything and everything they want. That’s an unrealistic expectation for any point in life, even for kids. 
  • If you have young kids, consider buying gently used or secondhand items. There is absolutely nothing wrong with this and as long as the items are in good condition, your children are not going to even notice. This practice helps to keep you from going over budget and helps to extend the life of perfectly useful items that still have a lot of joy to give. According to Bankrate, 19 percent of those surveyed said that they would be willing to do this in order to save money on gifts. 
  • Focus on intentional gift giving. These are creative and meaningful gifts that help you to give joy and create it for yourself as well. While you still have to keep your budget in mind, intentional gifts make sure that you’re actually putting some thought into the gift giving process and are getting the most joyful bang for your buck. 

Remember, extended times of stress are unhealthy. The best gift that you can give others this holiday season is a healthy, happy you.

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