Planning Your Christmas Shopping and Budget
The Christmas season is a truly festive event that numerous people around the world celebrate. It is a season best spent with your family and friends. But most of all, Christmas is the season to give and share the good fortune you have had throughout the year.
Though you want to express your gratitude and appreciation to other people through giving gifts, it is important to make sure you do not go beyond your budget. Or worse, get deep in debt with your credit card! You would not want to start the year ahead with zero balance in your bank account, right? To avoid getting yourself in this precarious situation, better strategize how you will go about your gift giving this Christmas. Below are a few steps you could try to better stretch your budget but still give the best possible gifts to your precious loved ones.
- Purge your list
So, you have your family, extended family, your friends from high school and college. Wait, you also have your office mates to think of! Your list of people to give Christmas presents to can grow long just like that. The key is to carefully choose the people you will give presents to. Think of people you have not seen in the past year. Chances are, even if you prepare a gift for them, it’ll be hard to set a time to meet them simply to hand over your present. Cross out people you have not heard from, or seen, for more than six months or a year. You will still be friends, but you have to be practical.
- Label your family and friends
Now that you have a list of the family and friends you will buy gifts for, it is time to determine the amount you want to spend on each of them. Let us be honest here. As much as we want to give them all the best, we have a limited budget to work on. So, list down the people you would like to give the most expensive gifts to, then the people you think would appreciate a simpler present from you. For example, for your mom and dad, you can definitely get them a new microwave, while you can give your friends something more affordable and practical that they can use.
- Mark a chunk of your budget
You need to decide early on how much you are really willing and capable to spend for your Christmas shopping. Is it 40 percent of your salary? Or is it a range between 50 to 60 percent? Once you have finalised that, you must – at all costs – stick to it. There is no use in planning if you will break your own rules and end up overspending.