Christmas Shopping On A Budget

When the Christmas season comes around, many people struggle with the desire to buy their loved ones the perfect gifts while staying within a budget. However, with some planning, Christmas shopping doesn’t have to stress your budget.

Christmas shopping on a budget can help ensure you find the right gift for each person on your list without breaking the bank. You can make the most of your holiday shopping budget with a few low-cost Christmas shopping ideas.

Hit the Stores and Hunt for Bargains

With a bit of extra effort, you can save money on many of your gifts while Christmas shopping on a budget. Compare prices between different retailers, both in stores and online, to find the best prices. Post-Thanksgiving sales are excellent opportunities to purchase discounted items. Before entering the “Black Friday” melee, do your research: read store circulars, compare costs and know what items you want to buy at each store.

Post-Christmas sales offer holiday-themed items at great prices, which can be purchased in advance for the following year. In addition, shopping sales throughout the year allows you to find bargains without being pressed for time. Use coupons and discounts to do some holiday shopping in advance.

Holiday Shopping: Alternative Gifts

Not all Christmas gifts need to come from a store. Choosing homemade gifts can be especially helpful when you are shopping for many acquaintances, such as co-workers, teachers and neighbors.

Baked goods are cost-effective and thoughtful. Take advantage of your talents—whether they’re baking, knitting or painting—to make gifts for your friends and family. Homemade gifts are cost-effective, and often have more meaning than a store-bought item. A holiday decoration, like a Christmas ornament, is a gift that can be used at the holidays for years to come.

Non-traditional gifts can be a great way to celebrate the holiday. Instead of purchasing a give from the mall, you can share a volunteer experience or give a charitable donation in a loved one’s name. Such a gift allows you to not only give a Christmas present to a friend or family member, but also give back to the community and avoid the stress that so often comes with holiday shopping.

Holiday Entertaining: Don’t Break the Bank

Although most people account for gifts in their holiday budget, it’s easy to forget that the holiday season also means dinners out, company parties and gatherings to attend and host. Save yourself (and your friends, family and co-workers) some money by suggesting a potluck. Additionally, an afternoon party can help keep down the costs of entrees and cocktails.

The Importance of Planning Ahead

Many people find themselves stretching their budgets thin around the holidays as they shop for Christmas gifts and host parties. Pre-planning for the holiday season can help ease your mind when it comes time to buying all those presents.

Over the course the year, keep a list of Christmas shopping ideas; by the time the holiday comes around, you’ll already know the gifts you want to give. Put aside money from each paycheck throughout the year to use for holiday shopping—small contributions each pay period will add up by December! Creating a holiday shopping budget, and sticking to it, can reduce financial stress and help you make the most of the money you’ve saved.