For a lot of people, Christmas shopping can constitute the least enjoyable aspect of the Christmas period. With everything else that’s going on, it often gets left to the very last minute, leading to the stressful process of trying to get the right things in a limited time frame.
It can often end up being exceptionally expensive. Each little thing adds up quickly, and if you have a big family that you need to buy gifts for, it can become quite worrying. Luckily, there are some handy ways of setting and meeting a Christmas shopping budget – here’s our top tips.
Setting a budget in two steps
When you set your Christmas budget, you should make it in two separate parts – an overall budget and then a dissected budget that accounts for each person.
Your overall budget is the total amount that you can spend on Christmas gifts that year. Make sure that you factor in things like shipping, wrapping paper and cards – all the little details can add up and you don’t want to be left short.
Next, break that budget up per person. Think about what you might want to get each of your loved ones, and consider putting all the prices in a spreadsheet. Once you’ve compiled all your gifts, you can see if there’s any room or if you need to cut back a little.
Do your shopping all at once
If you spread your Christmas shopping out over a long time, it can be quite difficult to keep track of the overall cost. Doing it all at the same time makes it much easier to check that you’re not going over budget, keeping things under control.
As mentioned above, in an ideal world, you’ll work out what you’re going to buy for each person first, and budget it all out in a spreadsheet.
Use a personalised gift site
A good way of doing your shopping all at once is to use a personalised gift site. These sites have different sections, such as those containing personalised Christmas gift ideas perfect for him or her, making it easy to find something for each person you need to be a gift for. Each item can then be personalised with a short inscription, making the gifts extra special and unique.
Consider making your gifts
If you’re really strapped for cash this year, as many of us are this winter, consider making some of your gifts. You could try your hand at knitting, make some homemade beeswax candles, or bake cookies – whatever you feel comfortable with. You don’t have to do it for all your gifts, but doing it for some people will likely help you meet your budget.
When making your Christmas budget, try not to stretch yourself too far. The whole point of Christmas is that you get to spend time with the people you love, not shower them with objects. While gifts do play an important part of that, it shouldn’t stretch you financially to the point that you’re stressed.
Setting a budget for your Christmas shopping is a feature post