Have you started your Christmas shopping yet? I was asked that question just yesterday while chatting with an acquaintance. I proudly answered her that in fact I was nearly finished and had done so by staying within budget! Be practical with your Christmas spending and you will save your budget.
Purchasing Christmas gifts can be a huge expense especially if all of your shopping is done in one month. A number of years ago we, as an extended family, agreed that we would only purchase gifts for each other that cost less than $10.00. This allows everyone to keep their holiday spending to a minimum. By agreeing to keep the spending contained you are also eliminating excessive spending on gifts that loved ones don’t really want or in some cases even like.
This gift agreement allows me to pick up gifts during offseason shopping trips. For example, I can purchase great gifts during end of season clearance sales and store them until December.
Your family may not agree to the $10.00 gift idea, but the same principle can work for you. Allocate how much money you are going to spend for each gift and do your best to purchase them throughout the year. This is going to alleviate the burden of shopping on your budget in November and December. However, there’s still no guarantee that they will like the present you choose!