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Wanting Christmas budgeting tips to help you avoid your outrageous overspending this year? Well, here are 5 borderline genius tips to have Christmas on a budget and save your money. And of course a free Christmas budget printable and planner.
Why is Christmas budgeting important?
Christmas budgeting is so important because:
- It helps you avoid overspending or going into debt, just for a one-time a year event.
- It helps you keep up with your saving goals and avoid starting your New year broke. Just because it’s Christmas, it doesn’t mean that you should postpone your saving goals for New Year’s resolutions.
- It relieves the stress of overspending and enables you to genuinely enjoy a perfect Christmas without feeling the aftermath of guilt and crippling buyer’s remorse.
Nevertheless, in the modern world of spend, spend, spend, you typically have to watch out and be extra careful during the Holiday season. It is super easy to fall into the trap of mindless holiday spending with all the crazy deals and curated advertisements going on.
How much should you spend on Christmas?
If you are wondering how much you should spend on Christmas, that’s a good start. You are most definitely on the right track to not overspending your hard-earned coins.
So, don’t be shocked when I tell you that Americans spent approximately $789 Billion during the Holiday season last year.
Y’all! HOW CRAZY IS THAT? Truth be told I am totally shocked by that number as well. Almost $800 Billion just for gift wrappers, cards, ornaments, and candy that will all go to the trash? That’s bizarre.
Well, I am not saying that we shouldn’t have a merry merry Christmas, but certainly, we shouldn’t let our money go straight to the trash if we can’t afford it.
How much should you budget for Christmas?
Christmas budget varies from household to household. This is because it solely depends on your income and expenses.
Sadly speaking, how much you should spend on Christmas cannot be compared to what Kim Kardashian spends. Although don’t we all wish we could host those lavish holiday parties and go on extravagant vacations? So UNFAIR, right!
As a matter of fact, when I think about spending, I follow the great principle from Dave Ramsey, ” Act your wage.”
Side note: He actually created a fun and competitive board game called Act your Wage, to see who keeps up with savings and down with expenses. Might actually be a good meaningful Christmas gift LOL!
Anyway, “act your wage” generally means that you should stop comparing yourself to how much other people spend for Christmas and focus on only what you can afford. Trust me! You can have a blast without spending an insane amount of money during the Christmas holiday season.
But if you’re looking for a more direct answer, on average, Americans spent $998 during the Holidays last year.
So, I presume you’re probably wondering if you should spend about $1,000 bucks on Christmas. Well, heck no! let’s create a budget first, to see what you can actually afford haha!
Christmas Budgeting 101: 5 Steps to Create a Christmas Budget & Avoid Overspending
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Creating a budget for Christmas is so much easier than you think. Please do not be intimidated by this process, haha! Here is the simple step by step process to creating a super easy Christmas holiday spending budget:
Related blog: 5 Budgeting Tips To Become A Financially Savvy Woman.
Step 1: Determine your monthly income?
Write down your average monthly take-home pay, including salary, bonus, etc.
Step 2: Determine your monthly expenses?
Write down all your monthly expenses and group them into 5 categories.
In one category, write down all your standard monthly bills’ approximate amount. They include mortgage/rent, utilities, internet, etc. Monthly bills are fixed amounts you have to pay every month to keep up with your living situations, such as housing.
2. Basic Needs
Secondly, write down all your basic needs such as food, transportation, healthcare, etc. Basic needs are usually items you need at a minimum to survive your day-to-day life. And no, it does not include your luxurious spa days, haha!
Thirdly, write down all the minimum payments you have to pay towards your debt, such as student loans, credit cards, etc. FYI, I used a strategy to save towards paying my student loans and credit card debt. You can read how I saved towards paying all my student debt in full within 6 months here.
Fourth, write down your monthly savings goals such as emergency funds, retirement, paying off debt, travel, etc. Savings amount usually depends on several factors such as your household size, your debt, income, expenses, etc.
However, as a beginner, it is advisable to save at least $1,000 in emergency funds. But in the long run, most financial experts recommend that you save 3-6 months’ worth of basic living expenses. (Do not touch but accessible at any minute)
Lastly, write down all your personal needs that are not basic needs such as gym, self-care, products, entertainment, subscriptions, treat my self money, treat my boo money, etc.
Step 3: Check how much money you have left
If you haven’t saved for Christmas throughout the year, now it’s time for the real revelation on how much you have in your pocket to spend.
So, go ahead and deduct your monthly expenses from your monthly take-home pay.
How much do you have left?
If you have a lot of free money left, well and good, skip ahead and create a Christmas budget for your heart’s desire. Honestly, you have nothing to worry about.
But I have a feeling that’s NOT most of us.
So, what should you do if you have no money left for the Christmas budget?
Step 4: Do not be discouraged if your balance is zero.
Hey! If your money balance is negative, zero, or less than $100, do not be discouraged because the Christmas celebration is still possible for you.
The Christmas season is not all about money. Honestly, that’s where several people have it wrong. Christmas is a season full of warmth, laughter, and spending good times with loved ones.
Everyone should be able to celebrate the joyful season regardless if they have money or not.
Please do not miss out on Christmas celebrations by staying at home sad and alone. Wait! And most definitely, do not go into debt, haha!
Therefore, figure out creative ways on how you can make money and save up for Christmas.
Creative ways to make & save money for Christmas
1. Create a saving plan
Look at how many more months you have left before Christmas, and then see how much money you can reasonably put aside every month to save towards Christmas.
For example, maybe instead of saving towards your girlfriends’ annual trip, you can temporarily stop that and save towards Christmas in the next couple of months.
2. Manage your personal expenses to afford Christmas
If you have limited or zero funds for Christmas, try to see how you can move your personal expenditure around, to afford it.
Remember, do not compromise your bills, basic needs, debt payments, and savings. Just because it’s Christmas, it doesn’t mean life has to stop.
Therefore, look into your personal budget and see what you could forgo so that you can save towards your Christmas budget.
For example, maybe for the next couple of months, you don’t need to get your nails done, you can cancel Nextflix, do home workouts, say no to eating out, maybe make your coffee at home, etc.
Just think about what personal and luxurious things, you can live without for a couple of months.
Related Blog: How to Simplify Life in 8 Ways & Focus More on Yourself
3. Sell personal items to make extra money
In addition, also think about what personal and home items you can sell to make extra money for the Christmas holiday, such as clothes, home decor, furniture, etc. (10 Best Websites for Selling Your Unwanted Stuff) Psst! you can sell your nice clothes at Plato’s Closet and receive cash immediately. (I’ve totally done this before)
Step 5: Create a Christmas budget to track your holiday spending
Regardless of how much you have saved up for Christmas, it is essential to create a budget and stick to it. I cannot emphasize how important it is to make sure you don’t overspend a dime and dig into your savings. Y’all! January scaries is a real thing.
So, set your overall Christmas budget, and track spending for these items:
Christmas Budget Planning
1. Confirm how many Christmas Events you have to attend
The first step to creating a Christmas budget is to confirm how many parties you will be attending and the requirements for each party. If you know that you can’t afford to attend some parties, do not be embarrassed to communicate with your friends, co-workers, and family.
At the end of the day, prioritize which Christmas parties are more important than others. For example, Christmas with your kids could be more important than secret Santa with your friends. Plus, there’s more Christmas to come.
I completely doubt that your friends/ co-workers would be mad at you for not attending their Christmas event one time. If they don’t understand, I would question my relationships, LOL!
2. Create a list of people who need a gift
Secondly, you should create a list of all the people who need Christmas gifts from all the events you’ll attend or host.
3. Set a specific Christmas budget amount you’d like to spend for each person
Depending on how much you have saved up, create a specific budget amount you would like to spend for each person for Christmas. Make sure to stick to the budget and do not go a cent over.
Also, you could think of creative ways to give Christmas gifts that don’t require money. (Here are 100+ Free or Almost Free Gift Ideas For When You Have No Money Christmas)
4. Determine the number of people coming to your Christmas party
For the purpose of Christmas party planning, you should create a separate list of people who you’re expecting to come to celebrate with you at your home.
In addition, determine if everyone is chipping in by bringing food and drinks or contributing money. Don’t be embarrassed to cost-share and combine parties for these kinds of big events.
And also, if you can’t afford to host Christmas, how about eating out at a restaurant, where everyone can pay for themselves? There are so many creative ways to having an affordable and fun Christmas.
5. Create a Christmas shopping list
Lastly, take your pen and paper and create the ultimate Christmas shopping list for decorations, food, drinks, tree, etc. And make sure it sticks to your overall budget.
Well, to make it easier, I have created a Christmas budget printable worksheet for you that you could download for free. It includes a Christmas budget list for gifts, food, and others (decoration, tree, etc.)
Feel free to grab it below!
Free Christmas Budget Printable
Last thoughts on Christmas budgeting
In conclusion, I hope you have found these Christmas budgeting tips very beneficial to help you plan a wonderful Christmas without going into debt or dipping into your savings. And enjoy your free Christmas budget printable and planner.
Also, if you have read this far, it is not by coincidence. I honestly believe we have been brought together for a reason. Therefore, if these success tips resonate with you, feel free to leave a comment. Aaaand! Let’s be friends because I can’t wait to chat with you more.