Although most people enjoy the spirit of giving at Christmas time, it is also a fact that Christmas shopping can be a significant financial burden for many. This is especially true for those who have a large family or a large group of friends who regularly exchange Christmas gifts. Christmas shopping can also be a financial problem for those who feel compelled to purchase expensive gifts for each person on their list.
However, there are ways to deal with the financial burden which often results from Christmas shopping. One of the ways to deal with this financial problem is to set a budget beforehand. Another way to deal with the financial stress of Christmas shopping is to shop throughout the year instead of all at once. This article will discuss the importance of setting a budget for Christmas shopping as well as how Christmas shopping can become less financially taxing by spreading out the Christmas shopping throughout the year.
Those who have concerns over the amount of money they will be spending on their Christmas shopping should consider setting a budget for their Christmas shopping before they begin their shopping endeavor. In order to begin the process of setting a budget for Christmas shopping, it is important to first create a list of all the people you intend to buy Christmas presents for this holiday season.
This list should include all of the close friends and family members you typically purchase gifts for as well as any co-workers or employees you normally purchase gifts for, your mail carrier or your children’s teachers. You may also wish to budget for gifts donated to toy drives organized by charitable organizations if you typically contribute during these events.
Once you have your list of gift recipients there are a couple of ways to go about establishing a budget. Perhaps the simplest way is to decide how much you plan to spend on Christmas shopping and divide this amount by the number of gift recipients on your list. This will result in a budget in which you plan to spend the same amount of money on Christmas gifts for each person on your Christmas list. This type of budget strategy may be appropriate if you plan on purchasing similar gifts for everyone on your Christmas list but it may not work out well if you want to purchase something really special for a few of your closest friends or relatives.
Another strategy for establishing a Christmas shopping budget is to determine how much money you would like to spend and then divide the individuals into different categories. Some of the categories you might want to include are
- close friends and relatives
- business associates / co workers
- gifts for people you do not know (angel tree, toys for tots, etc.)
Once you have all of the members of your list categorized you can determine the percentage of your total budget you would like to spend on each category.
For example you might decide to spend 50% of your total budget on close friends and relatives, 25% of your total budget on business associates, 15% of your total budget on acquaintances and the remaining 10% on Christmas gifts for charity drives. Then you can use these numbers to determine the total amount of money you will spend on each category and divide that number by the total number of people in each category to figure out a dollar amount for each person on your Christmas list.
A final strategy for establishing a budget for your Christmas shopping is to start out by determining how much you plan to spend on some of the most important people on your gift recipient list. This will most likely include your closest relatives. Once you set dollar amounts for your closest relatives, it is time to divide up the remaining amount of money in your Christmas shopping budget. This can either be done arbitrarily by dividing the remaining amount in your budget by the number of people left on your list or you can continue to go through your list selecting a dollar amount for each person until you reach your budget.
At this time if there are still people remaining on your list you will have to either reevaluate the dollar amounts you have already chosen or consider eliminating some people from your list.
Christmas shopping on a budget doesn’t have to be a bad thing. With proper planning ahead with all of the advice mentioned above you will do great and still not break the bank this year!