How to Budget for Christmas Starting Now

First of all how satisfying it is when a month ends on a Sunday and the beginning of the next month starts on a Monday. I love it so much, it gives me such a wonderful and motivating feeling like nothing else. I am ready for this month.

Anyway, it is finally time to begin mentioning Christmas (even though I did actually mention this word in this post), and think about how to budget for Christmas. Normally just the thought of Christmas should bring joy and happiness. However, these past years have 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 Christmas to ensure you don’t over spend and to make sure that you are enjoy this time stress free.

In today’s 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, 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!

A poster for pinterest that reads how to budget for Christmas with red, gold and green presents faded in background

Create a spreadsheet

The first thing I would recommend when it comes to thinking about a budget for Christmas 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, or even use your phone.

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. You can also put in budgets for events, weekends away and any days out. 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). You can colour coordinate the sections you can create boxes to tick and just have a bit of fun really.

I also use spread sheets for tracking my finances throughout the whole of the year too, as they are brilliant for being honest with yourself and knowing where your finances are going. Plus you can spot any transactions that might be a scam/ a hacker.

Buy early

I have mentioned this one in a previous post a couple years ago, 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.

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 for Christmas.

A dark wooden floorboard with a selection of gold and red presents on the right hand side.
Photo by on

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 for Christmas. You can find decorations, toys, clothes, cards and even wrapping paper. Therefore, I recommend checking out your local Charity shops, because you do find some great pieces for great prices.

RELATED: Have yourself a sustainable Christmas, Tips on Becoming more Eco-Friendly, Fashion finds in your wardrobe

Create lists

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 for Christmas.

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.


A selection of pink wrapped up presents piled on top of each other, with some baubles in front of them.
Photo by Jill Wellington on

There we have, hopefully some usual tips for you to stay on budget for Christmas! I know this time is not great for everyone and maybe you don’t celebrate Christmas but it is still a lovely time to come together as a community and to be with family.

What tips do you have to stay on budget for Christmas?

Thanks for reading,

Gemma Jayne x

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Author: gemmaajaynee

24 year old just wanting to write with her spare time.

56 thoughts

  1. Reading your post completely described the way I budget for Christmas! I make lists of people I need to buy for and what I want to buy them and also I have already started my Christmas shopping and I’m well over halfway through! I just got to buy for my Mam and the work girls and I’m done! This post is full of great advice Gemma! x

    Lucy |

    1. Yes I am glad someone else is like me! I love budgeting, and thank you so much that means a lot! ๐Ÿ™‚ It is such a nice feeling getting most of the Christmas presents done isn’t it ๐Ÿ™‚ xx

  2. Great tips on budgeting – I’m a massive Excel fan too! And yes to charity shopping and homemade gifts as well. I don’t think I’ll be gifting as much this year but it’s the thought not the amount that counts ๐Ÿ™‚ x

    1. Yes! Glad there is someone else that loves Excel as much as me! I completely get that, I donโ€™t think a lot of people will be gifting as much. But I agree itโ€™s the thought ๐Ÿ˜Š xx

  3. These are some great tips, I sometimes make someone who is close a present rather than buying it because it is then of personal value. This is especially good for someone who always says they don’t want anything. Also looking around generally and finding something someone would really like that, rather than buying someone a load of gifts due to being unsure is an idea ๐Ÿ™‚

  4. Agree with all of these, not that I personally put much into it but we’re already done for Christmas! Especially with an impending lockdown we knew that shopping would be made that little bit more difficult so thought it best to be done early x

  5. I’ll be honest, I don’t give much thought to budgeting. I actually tend to go and bit OTT at Christmas with gifts and things – whoops! But these are great tips. I always buy early cos I get so excited haha! xxx

    1. Sometimes just all the Christmas stuff can be hard NOT to buy, it is all amazing haha! I am the same it is the excitement that Christmas is near that gets me buying all the presents haha! xxx

  6. I love this Gemma ! I’m big on not overspending for Christmas and I think these are great tips! I’m all about the spreadsheets and shopping early. The early thing is a must since I live in Hawaii and shipping takes forever, especially around the holidays. I also like to set aside money in the months prior to xmas to save for holidays.

  7. I found this so so helpful, this year money has been so much tighter than the years prior so I need all the budgeting tips I can get! I absolutely love writing a list, otherwise I will defo end up going OTT haha! xx

    1. Yes definitely! Hopefully this will help so you can save money too ๐Ÿ˜Š I am the same! I will go out and pick up everything because I love christmas ๐Ÿ˜‚ xxx

  8. Oh, spot on with your tips! Lists and starting early sure make a difference. Now it is the first of December and it works if we already start so we are not rushed. The coming holiday season is different after all.

  9. All great tips to get you through this holiday season while keeping spending in check. I would urge those that have saved nothing to start saving for the holidays in January of next year. I have a separate savings account where I transfer a small amount from each paycheck. I never miss the money and like that, I donโ€™t have to worry about how to pay for gifts each year. Plus, it keeps my spending in check. If there is $500 in the account, then I know I can only spend a total of $500 for gifts this year.

  10. I’ve already started my Christmas shopping and I definitely find spreading things out helps a bit and buying stuff early! I’m being more organized this year and have created charts and things haha!

  11. Yes indeed, lists are great! I love the idea of using a spreadsheet in conjunction with a list. Buying throughout the year and keeping track of who I have bought for are great ways to get a head start on the holiday shopping craze and pick up useful and fun gifts instead of the typical stuff ads and trends push my way come December.
    Thanks so much for sharing your tips!

  12. Some really great tips in this post. I’ve recently found Vinted and I am obsessed. Why would I ever buy anything full price and first hand anymore!?
    I’ve got a massive family and we do secret santa these days which saves a lot!


    1. Thank you! Yeah Depop is similar and I find some bargain buys that is great quality. I have a huge family too and agree secret Santa and having a budget really helps! Xx

  13. Every year, I tell myself that I’m going to begin Christmas shopping at the start of the year instead of waiting until November/December – and every year I fail miserably at that. But you’ve got amazing tips here for saving money during this season where it’s so easy to spend money! Thanks for sharing!

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