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Staying Within Your Christmas Budget

We talked about Setting a Christmas Budget now it is time to talk about ideas for Staying within your Christmas Budget.

  • Use Envelopes– I got this from my mother. Every Christmas she would get out a pile of envelopes, write names on them and then put a certain amount of cash in each envelope. (She even had one for wrapping paper, ribbons, etc.)
  • That is what she took Christmas shopping with her. When the money in your envelope was gone she was done shopping for you.
    I do a lot of shopping online for Christmas but when I do hit the stores I use this system. Rarely in budgeting for Christmas do I add in tax but that can really add a lot of money to your overall budget. The cash envelope system takes care of that.

    It makes spending more concrete and I am not as tempted to cheat. If I want to buy something more for a particular person I have to take money out of someone else’s envelope and that just does not feel right.

    So, if you have a hard time sticking to your Christmas budget I highly recommend the cash envelope system. Plus, as you purchase gifts you stick receipts in each person’s envelope keeping them organized and easy to find if anything has to be returned!

  • Keep Track of Your Purchases. On your budget list (with names and amounts for each person you are buying for) write down each gift bought. Then adjust the dollar amount by that name. I usually subtract what I just spent and then write down the amount I still have to spend on that person. This is especially important when shopping online.
  • Consider Drawing Names- This works great with large or extended families. Everyone draws the name of another person in the family and buys a gift for just that person.  A reader had this good idea: 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.

Do you have any great tips for staying within your Christmas Budget? I would love to hear them. Next up, Stretching your Christmas Budget.


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