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How to Stay On A Budget During The Holidays

November 16, 2018

This post is not about how to set your budget, how to keep track of your spending, and so forth, because you already know how important budget is when it comes to managing finance. Once you’ve got your budget in place for the holidays, now what?  How do you make sure that you stick to your budget?

This is what we are going to talk about in this post. We are going to look at few ways to spend less during the holidays so that you don’t have to worry about overspending.

We all love holiday shopping.  It happens to be my favorite.  The stores are packed with adorable gifts, enticing treats, comfy clothing, sparkling jewelry, fabulous decorations, and it’s obvious to end up buying items that we don’t really need or buying extra gifts for everyone.

And if we spend more significantly, we end up with financial issues, which no one likes or looks forward to. 

Be strong and don’t let your will power get drifted away with all the new and fabulous items that you see in stores or online.

Here are few ways you can stay within your budget and feel great during the holidays! 

I’ve also included few BONUS TIPS for you!  The goal is to help you make best of your holiday budget and give you some great ideas or ways to use that money.

PLUS FREE Christmas Planner!

Without further due let’s look at few of those ways.

Create and Narrow Down Your Lists

First, get yourself a cup of tea or coffee, relax your mind and grab a paper and pen. Create a list for each category, for example, decorations, gifts, entertainment.

By having a list for each area or category will help your shopping so much easier, which we’ll talk about more later.  Once you have your lists ready, go through them and see if there is anything that you don’t need or find an alternative.

For example; for decorations you can use your creative crafting talent and make some of the decorations yourself.  Here are links to few videos and tutorials that I found helpful in creating my own decorations.


Stick to Your List

We talked about creating and auditing the list, but you also need to stick to your list when shopping.  If you don’t stick to your list, you’ll end up buying more and spending more – sounds very familiar right? 

Well I’ve experienced that many times.  So now I’ve made a habit of sticking to my list.  I don’t want to go to bed feeling bad about overspending.  I don’t want to keep thinking why I bought that item when I already had an alternative.  It drives me crazy!

The simple way to make sure you don’t end up buying stuff that you don’t need is using this strategy:  when you see an item that you really want to buy, think and ask yourself if you need that.  If you really want to buy that now or is it something that you can buy later. 

Also, this is one my favorite strategies, if it’s not on my list, I’m not buying it.  Simple!  Yes, I do keep thinking about that item, but I have to be strong if I want to enjoy my holidays and be worry-free about finance.

Or if you really want something that’s not on the list, you can replace an item on your list with that new one. 

Use strategies that works best for you.

Another great video that shows simple ways to decorate your gifts!



Start Shopping Early

Last minute shopping can be stressful, and you don’t want that.  Early shopping will give you more time to shop and you’ll have enough time to compare products and prices at different stores. 

Early shopping will help you buy thoughtful gifts.  Rush shopping can lead you make bad choices and you can miss out on sales and quite often the items you want are sold out which can be depressing.

Holiday season is a busy time, with parties to attend, meals to prepare, gift wrapping, mailing out gifts.  Having more time will help you plan other fun stuff like family photo sessions, decorating the yard, making treats.

Also, by shopping early, you’ll be able to take advantage of seasonal sales like Black Friday and Cyber Monday.

christmas shopping

Don’t Buy to Impress

There are many of us who want to buy extravagant gifts for everyone on our list.  Purchasing extra gifts for your family and friends is always nice, but you need to make sure you don’t go overboard.

Again, a well-thought out gift is all you need.  Give out gifts that goes with the personality and interest of the person you are buying the gift for.  Give gifts that mean something, gifts are special, gifts that can be cherished for a long time.

Homemade gifts are still very special. The love and thought put into gifts made at home are priceless.  If you love creativity and can make the gifts yourself, then go for it.

Simple items like lush bath bombs, all-natural soap, beautiful quilts, personalized ornaments make great or memorable gifts.

christmas holiday shopping


When shopping for the holidays, just keep in mind these 4 simple things and you’ll be on top of your budget.  Get everything on your list, narrow down if needed and stick to it.  Avoid buying items that you don’t need and start your shopping early to take advantage of discounts or sales.  Also, it will provide you an opportunity to compare the prices by visiting different stores.  And you don’t have to impress others by busying expensive gifts.  These are simple things, yet very effective.

Before you go, as promised, here are your BONUS TIPS that I’ve learnt from my family and friends!  Hope you’ll find them helpful as well.



TIP #1:  Start collecting your coupons early and you’ll end up with dramatic savings. 

TIP #2:  Before going shopping, get your concrete ideas together and only visit the stores that have the items you are looking for.

TIP #3:  You don’t always have to buy a gift.  Make it yourself if you can. 

Another great video on making gifts yourself!


TIP #4:  Choose a theme for presents and watch for sales and discounts on those items. For example, the 80s theme where gifts have some connection to the 80s or game themes where presents can include board games, cards, etc.

TIP #5:   Basket filled with specialty items for the whole family is also quite popular and a big money saver.  Add items to the basket that each member of the family loves, that way everyone will end up having a good time.  You can also add photos or other memorable items to the basket, like baby photos. Make it special.

TIP #6:   Give out story books to the children.  Almost everyone loves to read fabulous stories and there are so many of them.  And for adults you can give out coffee-table books such as The Best Loved Villages of France, or The National Parks, Vogue Living Houses Garden People or a book of interests like quilting, pottery, woodwork.

TIP #7:   Nothing beats homemade baked goods. The love and effort you put in baking those goodies is just priceless.  Pack your freshly baked treats in a decorative platter or bags.  Tie some ribbons and don’t forget to add a note.

TIP #8:   Purchase winter clothing when they are on sale.  Many stores offer great discountsin April or May before bringing in spring and summer clothes.

TIP #9:   Create a DIY craft kit with items like crafting papers, colored pencils, crayons, yarns, or include DIY craft kits that are ready to go.

TIP #10:   Have a potluck holiday party, instead of preparing all the dishes yourself.  You’ll be amazed how much time and money you’ll end up saving. 

TIP #11:   If you do decide to prepare the dishes yourself, go easy on your menu.  If there are too many dishes like appetizer for example, your guests would get so full that they won’t really enjoy the meal. 

TIP #12:   Use cash for holiday shopping. This way you won’t end up overspending.

Use these tips to help your holiday shopping and planning a breeze.

And don’t forget to get your FREE Christmas Planner!


DISCLOSURE: Many of the links in the article above, and throughout this site, are affiliate links. While there’s no additional cost to you, any purchases made via those links may earn me a commission.

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