I know most of you have started your lists already, but have put the actual numbers next to the name? Avoid overspending this season, as there is enough stress to it already. Don’t add to it (pun intended).
Here are some quick tips to evaluate as you start your budget, as well as some tricks to stay under your budget.
Use the Excel template that has a household monthly budget with percentage allocations. It’s good to see where and how you are actually spending.
Break up with the mentality that the recipient is actually worth that dollar amount you specified; the thought matters more. And if the recipient is that shallow: try giving coal – used coal! Plus, it’s your budget, not theirs!
You will never out give your parents or people who make more money than you; it’s life, math, and it’s just your salary: finite and limited.
Quit comparing yourself to your peers; if they give lavishly, they spend lavishly. They’ll be crying once they get their January (thru April) bank statements.
Try giving experiences instead of actual gifts. Those usually last longer.
Try taking a class together – cooking, painting, ceramics, Krav Maga, etc.
Use those $1 grocery bags that are reusable; most of them come in festive styles now.
Use your old fashion or food magazines as wrapping paper – obviously be mindful of the content as some are not as tasteful (fashion).
Use old fabric as wrapping paper. Try the $1 yarn to hold the fabric together
Keep your actual printed budget with you at all times, that way you don’t overspend or forget what to buy
Buy decorations the day after; you really don’t need anymore this year. Only buy what really needs replacing.
Keep this year’s list as you’ll need it again next year.
Hope these tips help – these are personally tried and true! Also Dave Ramsey has a new interactive Christmas budget tool (DaveRamsey.com) if you want to keep it online.