The Christmas Budget

 

                Some people might think that it is too early to think about Christmas, but honestly people we are only 48 days away.

                With that shocking, and sometimes panic inducing information it is now time to start thinking about a budget. Making one, and sticking to it, helps reduce the endless spending that can happen at this time of year.

Image

Image courtesy of imagerymajestic at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

                What I like to do is make a “fantasy” budget, one where I know what I want to spend, and then make the realistic one, once the finances are finalized.

EXAMPLE:

  • Bonnie – $100 – Realistic – $50
  • Sarah – $200 – Realistic – $100

Make up an excel sheet, or even a piece of paper and write everything out. Keep it with you while you shop, and make sure you follow it. If you are going to go out of your budget with the “Perfect” gift for someone make sure you make the adjustments by taking it away from someone else. It will make you rethink that perfect gift.

The things to think about are also the little things that one does not typically put into a Christmas budget.

  1. Wrapping paper
  2. Christmas cards
    1. Stamps/postage
  3. Stocking Stuffers
  4. Holiday parties
  5. Donations
  6. Travel
  7. Food
  8. Other misc.

According to Canadian Living Magazine on average Canadians plan on spending $1400.00 per Christmas season, almost half of that on gifts, a quarter of that on travel and the rest on miscellaneous spending.  Depending on how many people you have to buy for this could be a lot less or in some cases more.

Another tip and trick is to shop all year round, when you see something that would be perfect for a person on your list pick it up when you see it.

What my brothers and sister in laws do is a “secret Santa” between all of us, so we don’t have to spend insane amounts of money each year. We keep it at a budget of $50 dollars each, and we address it from everyone. We also do stocking stuffers, at a total of $10 dollars per couple or $5 dollars each to make things fun.

Another thing I love to do, is get ideas from other people, buying for everyone on your list can be stressful enough, without a little planning involved.

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Image courtesy of Grant Cochrane at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Some great resources are as follows:

One of my all-time favorite YouTube channels is OrganizedlikeJen: She is AMAZING with all of her ideas and different approaches to organization. She has a holiday series which I have been following for about 2 years now, and have used many of her ideas to make Christmas less stressful.

OrganizedLikeJen: http://www.youtube.com/channel/UC1YPvcxMTtdKz5ptonC3HZA

http://www.organizedjen.com/

Another great resource is the Your Way website. There are many different sections Home, Tech, and Christmas. If you would like to do a Christmas binder like I have previously mentioned 2 posts ago, her printables are great for a first timers.

http://christmas.yourway.net/

                Last but certainly not less is A Bowl Full of Lemons. She also has amazing ideas much like Jen, and a planner in which you can pay for, and print at home. 

http://www.abowlfulloflemons.net/

                So get on to making that budget! And maybe this weekend or next begin your shopping to avoid the masses that will be out in full force in a few weeks’ time

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