Staying on Budget during the Holidays

oliday shopping can be exciting, thrilling and full of adrenaline. Giving and receiving gifts are the initial fun of Christmas, but sometimes the idea of shelling out all that money can be a drag and may even take the fun out of shopping altogether.

So what happens when you’re on a low budget during the holidays and your list of things to buy keeps getting bigger and bigger? Will there ever be an end to the constant strain on your budget?

Thankfully, there are ways to reduce the amount of spending you do this holiday season, and your budgeting skills will be right on track with a few of these pointers whether you want to plan a holiday party or participate in a secret Santa.

Go For Alternatives

Sure, you need that new punch bowl from that new store you’ve been itching to purchase something from, but does it really have to be that store? The one that seldom has sales and is reluctant to have any at any point during the holidays? The key to purchasing things for an upcoming party or get-together is to buy the essentials, but not the expensive things that you probably won’t use again this year. Buy the napkin holders from another store that are 10 dollars cheaper, or those placemats from the store across the street that’s selling them for 5 dollars instead of 15.

Don’t Buy Gifts All At Once

Who says you have to start shopping at Christmas? If you start little by little during the whole year, chances are you won’t be waiting in line on Christmas Eve, plus the items you find on sale prior to Christmas can be used for gift giving. Don’t be afraid to start a little early this year, and to not be taken advantage of by the high priced retailers during the holiday season.

Borrow, Borrow, Borrow

Do you need shoes for that holiday party you’re planning? Borrow them from your sister! Want to buy a cake for dessert on Christmas Eve? Ask everyone to bring their own treats to share. Unfortunately, the only things you can’t borrow are those presents you’ll be putting under the tree.

Make a Budget, and Stick to It

A lot of us attempt to go by a certain amount of money to spend on Christmas gifts, but in reality we end up spending a little more, or a lot more. Make a plan to spend a certain amount, and don’t go over what you plan to fork over. Decide on a list of gifts you plan on giving and calculate the cost of each. Don’t go over the required amount for each and you’ll be on the right track.