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The holiday season is a wonderful, magical time but it can also be overwhelming and stressful for so many. A huge part of that is finances. It is important to be honest and real with yourself as you go into this season. It is okay if you cannot spend thousands of dollars on Christmas – that is not the point. I wanted to share with you some money tips that we use to be wise and intentional with our holiday spending!
Set a Budget
Bruce and I set a budget each Christmas for how much we will spend on each other. Now that we have a child, we will budget for her as well. Just having a price limit that everyone can stick to helps you not go overboard for Christmas. Having a budget makes you think before you buy which not only keeps your finances in check, it also helps you decided if you really need/ want that gift.
Get out enough cash for each person you are buying gifts for and shop accordingly. Once the money is gone, so is the shopping! It helps you see a physical representation of your spending.
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Buying a Christmas tree, going to a Christmas Concert, taking a photo with Santa, going ice skating, etc. There are a lot of fun family actives and traditions that can cost money. Sit down ahead of time and add up all the things you know you want to do and set a budget for it! I find that we can easily budget gifting but can still get to the end of Christmas in awe with how much money we put on the credit card. While I am all about doing all the holiday actives, having a budget helps you decide which things you really want to do. Plus a lot of Christmas memories are free – like driving around looking at lights, caroling, and reading books by the fire.
On both sides of the family we draw names. While it is fun to get everyone a gift, families can really add up! Especially with spouses and children! We do a name draw for both the “Ridings side” and the “Mayberry side.” Every adult only has to buy one gift for the person they drew! In our families we set a budget of $50. So instead of getting several small gifts (and stressing each other out) we each get one quality gift! We’ve been doing this ever since we got married and love it!
Limit Gifts for Yourself
I don’t think I am the only one who feels the urge to shop for myself as well when I am Christmas shopping. While I am all about it, you are already spending money on others right now and it is the season for giving. Set a budget for yourself as well (like $50 to buy fun new Christmas decorations) and stick to it.
Think of Other Ways to Give
Bake cookies, send a card, babysit for a friend. There are so many ways to give that are not “buying” someone a gift. I know I love to get homemade cookies from my all-star baker friends (that is you Monica & Christy!) Think creatively to show the ones in your life you are thankful for them.
What are some of you Money Tips for the holidays? I’d love to see other answers or ideas in the comments!!
I was selected for this opportunity as a member of CLEVER and the content and opinions expressed here are all my own.