Sorry to break your fancy, but here’s the truth: Santa Claus is not coming to town. The old guy won’t be there the night before Christmas. So as early as now, take the authority to plan for the upcoming gift-giving season. But don’t be overwhelmed by the enormity of your Christmas wish list! In this article, be guided on how to budget for the perfect presents to give your loved ones (and yourself) for the most awaited day of the year: Christmas.
The 5 Ways:
Write a list of people whom you intend to give gifts to. Beside each name, add a dash and think of the thing this person needs most. It can be a watch, tablet, mug, etc. Next, note the priority level of each line from low, medium to high. This is where you can gauge the budget for each one. Prioritizing will help you stick to a budget. It’s also a good advice to have some extra amount of money to shell out for those names you have forgotten. This task cuts the long list of those who can be spared. It can be taxing but by knowing who and what is important, your efforts will surely pay off in the end.
You can write whatever you want to buy in your wish list for as long as you don’t splurge on anything that looks nice. You have the advantage of taking control when you’re not cramming to buy for presents. You can look for deals online, shops which offer pre-holiday promotions and other stores which sell wholesale items with a discount.
3. Categorize Your Expenses
There are gifts which you buy only for the sake of having something to give—and you don’t want that. Budgeting includes categorization of expenses as needs and wants. Needs are those unavoidable and useful stuff, such as a functional laptop for your child who’ll be entering college next year, a smartphone for your hubby, etc. Wants are expenditures that can be cut as much as possible. Examples are a back casing of a phone made of diamonds, a luxury watch that comes with an MP3 player, etc.
4. Compare Prices
To control impulse buying further, with every item in your wish list, jot down the prices of different stores and compare them until you select the best deals. Don’t buy items right away. If you’re planning to buy gadgets, consider checking out eBay, Amazon and similar trusted sites for great offers. Reward yourself right but don’t max out your credit card!
5. Save Up!
If you can skip drinking one other cup of coffee from Starbucks plus a couple of stoppable snacks each day, you can save about over a hundred bucks. If you can pack food for lunch, then do it for the sake of feeding happiness to everyone in your wish list. The saying goes “It’s the thought that counts” would mean a lot more if you have little sacrifices to cash in your piggy bank.
Although Christmas should be a meaningful time to celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ, it has become more commercialized nowadays. This does not mean though that its spiritual nature would have to come to an end.
Christmas is a time of giving, without having to empty out your pockets. So don’t allow yourself to be pressured of what gifts to buy overshadowing the real purpose of Christmas. Rather, surround yourself with love from family and friends. Provide them with something that will help them in their daily lives. By getting a glimpse of the right steps to budget, you know you can have a financially stress-free holiday season this year.
+Aubrey Samson is a a freelance programmer, an annual mountaineer and a former mathematics tutor. During her free time, she spends time watching missed tv series on her 3D tv, listening to music and composing songs as well. Her favorite music genres are pop and R&B.