Setting Your Christmas Spending Budget

I know is it not even Thanksgiving but, I have been getting several questions lately about Christmas budgets. How much should they be? How do I set mine? How do I stay within my budget? How do you cut your Christmas budget?

All great questions. I will try to answers all of those in the next few days. We should start with first things first-Setting a Christmas Budget.

As a side note, I know everyone has different ideas/traditions around holiday gift giving. This is something THE HUSBAND and I had to work through early in our marriage. (I love to give gifts, he is more on the anti-commercialization of Christmas side.  We have come to appreciate each others ideas and we now have a good compromise.) I am not trying to talk anyone into change I just wanted to offer some tips to help you spend whatever amount of money you chose to spend on gifts the best way you can!

1.Set Your Christmas Budget. What have you saved for Christmas gift giving? What can you comfortably afford for Christmas gift giving?
As far as a dollar amount for your Christmas budget I would never try to throw out a number. It will be different for every family, for us it is different every year! Just make sure it is the right number for you or your family.

2.After you set your budget, make a list of all the people you would like to buy gifts for. If you have never written it all out here is a simple gift spending worksheet that might be helpful.

3.Make a list of all the miscellaneous Christmas items you will buy.
Wrapping paper, Christmas cards, stamps, baking supplies, etc. All these things add up and should go into your Christmas budget. Thinking of all of these things beforehand will help keep you from overspending.

3.Assign a dollar amount per gift for each person/ item on your list. Add those number up- if they are more than your budget you will have to cut numbers or people or items.

I know these ideas may sound a bit scroogeish to some of you, but setting a budget early on and committing to it will help you joyfully and freely spend whatever money you have allotted for each gift. You will not have to stress in the store about your budget and how you are doing, you will know. Christmas shopping will be more enjoyable.

Do you have any other tips ideas about setting a Christmas spending budget? How do you set yours? Do you have a budget?

I am excited to hear your ideas. I will post soon about ways to save on your budget.


  1. Honeysmith says:

    I always put away a little money for the day after Christmas wrapping paper sales. If I don’t have any money then I pull $20 from the grocery budget. Then I won’t have to pay full price for those things while I am trying to buy gifts.

  2. Lydia Fowler says:

    With 4 parents, five siblings, and 9 nieces/nephews in our immediate family, there’s no way to do this without planning! A couple things we’ve found useful are:

    1) Set up a holiday bank account. Every month contribute a certain amount, to the account. If you can contribute just $25 per month, by the time December rolls around, you’ve got $300 for your gift buying. This may not cover everything, but it’s a nice jump start.

    2) Start EARLY! I mean seriously early! My Christmas shopping for the following year starts the day after Christmas of the current year. Not only can you get some fabulous after-Christmas deals, but you can also stave off spending lump sums at once.


  3. Bearles6231 says:

    I buy as much Christmas items (paper, boxes, ribbon, lights, etc) as soon as it hits the 75% off mark. I usually don’t jump at 50% off, because you can usually get it at 50% off before Christmas during some sales. I also buy gifts (clothing, box gift sets, etc) for the following year when it hits around 75% to 85% off. I love getting those “$50” shirts for almost nothing (and don’t forget any special coupons)..As a side note, anyone who loves those “skinny” jeans…JCP at East Towne had them for $2.97 a pair on clearance. At this point I am about 80% done with Christmas shopping, and I am just waiting for some great deals to finish up.

  4. CouponShane says:

    My family decided this year we are doing Christmas Baskets. We all are supposed to purchase gifts that are 5-15$ each and place them in each others baskets. We think it will be fun. I went on a mass purchase campaign at Bath & Bodyworks. LOL! I made separate purchases with coupons I had and I was able to get 21$ worth of products for 10$ for most of the people in my family with a free item for each purchase for myself! WOOHOO!


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