It is SO hard to limit yourself to a certain number of gifts. With so many options how can we all stick to a budget so we don’t pass out in January when we see the credit card statement. I had a budget this year and we went over it by a few hundred, just like we did last year. My husband and I talked and we really want to stick to a “Holiday Budget” throughout the year. I decided to sit down and write out everyone we buy gifts for throughout the year. I’m talking about birthday’s, anniversaries, graduations, weddings, baby showers, Christmas, etc. Yes some of these are unplanned, you never know when there might be a baby shower or a wedding, but think about how much you would normally spend on that gift item and plan for maybe 2 weddings and 2 showers, that way you have a buffer of money just in case.
After I made the list of who we buy gifts for throughout the year, I added how much we spent on them. It was almost $600, that’s a small Christmas total. Then on top of that we spend over $1000 every year on Christmas, we’re still not sure how that happens, we have kids that won’t remember much yet.
In planning for this spending budget it would be wise to open either another account for this money, or if your bank or credit union have secondary savings accounts IE- money market, certificates of deposit/term deposits, you could open one of those and name it “Specifically” to what it is for. We have two, one says Birthday’s and the other is for Christmas. This way we know what that money is for and we don’t spend it, just add to it.
Lets make this Holiday season, which really hasn’t left here in Utah, a credit card FREE purchase.