It is finally time to begin mentioning Christmas (even though I did actually mention this word a few weeks ago in this post), and normally just the thought of Christmas should bring joy and happiness. However, this year has been difficult and may be even more so with people losing their jobs or finances being more all over the place.
Therefore, I absolutely believe it is essential to budget for these Holiday occasions to ensure you don’t over spend. This post I will talk through what I do/use to keep me on track and any tips and tricks I have learnt so that we all can still enjoy Christmas without any worries.
I also just want to remind you that Christmas should be just enjoying the company of those around you (which I am aware is going to be extremely difficult this year), and please do not worry about buying countless amounts of gifts. We should all just appreciate each other more and get out of our heads that we need “presents”. At the end of the day it’s the memories that we will remember the most.
If you are worried or need some extra support then please don’t be afraid to ask for help. Mind are a brilliant Charity and do amazing things in regards of Mental Health. So if you need support head onto their website and they have loads of information for you.
How to budget for Christmas!
Create a spreadsheet
The first thing I would recommend is creating a spreadsheet. Now I use Excel but you can go old school and create your own table on a piece of paper as well.
Having a spreadsheet will help you keep on top of who you have to buy for, how much you want to spend on them and you can also include what you have bought/ if you went over. Personally this has helped the last few years for me, and also been great at making sure I have bought for everyone/no-one is forgotten. Whilst also keeping me on track with my finances.
Just get creative with your spreadsheets really, it is that simple! Plus you can also separate into work, family and friends (that is if you buy for all of them categories).
I have mentioned this one in a previous post last year, but I think it is such an important one to think about. I am aware people get weird talking or even thinking about Christmas before December (not me I can tell you that now, I start thinking about it after my birthday in June). But, in order to help your finances and in terms of budgeting it is something you should do.
Personally I actually begin buying in August, and I know that sounds super early. But I like to get all my presents done and bought by middle of November. This is because, the end of November is that last pay check of the year for me so I would rather not worry that I have no money for Christmas events and so on (which again probably not so much this year).
Also buying early just spreads the costs out, so you don’t feel like you are losing your finances. It is a great tip for staying on budget.
Use Charity shops
I am honestly so happy that more and more people are shopping sustainably, and even buying second hand. I have mentioned before, but it has never been a problem or weird thing for me. I have always since I was a kid shopped in Charity shops, and so did my friends.
In saying that shopping in Charity shops are great for your budget. You can find decorations, toys, clothes, cards and even wrapping paper. Therefore, I recommend checking out your local Charity shops (if they are open of course during this time), because you do find some great pieces for great prices.
Something I also recommend in addition to your spreadsheets is to create lists. This could be something for you to do every time you go shopping (or even if you shop online), but it helps you stay on budget.
I normally write down everything I want to get that day (if it is a shopping day) and I am strict with myself to stick to that list. Unless I find something that I wasn’t expecting for someone else. However, normally I am pretty good at staying on task and this stops me from overspending because, I just go out to get what I need.
Therefore, LISTS ARE GREAT!
There we have, hopefully some usual tips for you to stay on budget this Christmas!
What tips do you have to stay on budget?
Thanks for reading,
Gemma Jayne x