Budgeting for the Christmas holidays is always difficult; in fact, it’s the one time that is guaranteed to wreak havoc far into the next financial year. For holidays in general, we would advise incorporating your spending into your monthly budget. However, if you haven’t already, don’t despair, there may be some Christmas cheer for you yet.
Knowing how much money you have for shopping is one thing, being able to allocate where that money goes, when contemplating your holiday shopping is something else.
Click to download our Holiday Gift Giving Planner that can help.
Christmas, as we all know, is in December – which conveniently follows the month of November, and two of the biggest shopping days of the year – Black Friday on November 23rd, closely followed by Cyber Monday on November 26th. Although these two shopping holidays are more popular with our neighbours to the south, an estimated 80% of Canadians took advantage of the deals on offer in the 2011 sales. While you may not wish to fight for this year’s big sellers during these mega sales days, they are ideal for swooping under the radar and picking up deals on gifts for extended family and friends.
Another great idea for holiday budgeting, although a little sneaky, is to invite the whole family around for dinner and subtly find out what they want for Christmas. It will get everyone in the holiday spirit, and you’ll save yourself from that frantic, and often expensive, last minute search for the ideal gift. Make sure to set a limit for each person you buy for and keep track of what you bought for whom and how much you paid.
Remember too, that not everyone is concerned with material gifts. Consider making a donation to charity, or, buying a gift with a conscience, such as a milking goat for a 3rd world family on someone’s behalf. If you really want to go the extra mile, why not accompany them on a food drive or to serve at a soup kitchen over the Christmas holidays?
When the holidays are over, your budgeting tasks are not yet done. Take advantage of the New Year’s sales, where you can make huge savings on clothes, toys, electronics and even gifts for the following Christmas.